Real-time nonlinear optical Fourier filtering for medical image processing is demonstrated, exploiting light modulating characteristics of thin films of the biophotonic material bacteriorhodopsin (bR). The nonlinear transmission of bR films for a 442 nm probe beam with a 568 nm control beam and vice versa is experimentally studied in detail. The spatial frequency information carried by the blue probe beam is selectively manipulated in the bR film by changing the position and intensity of the yellow control beam. The feasibility of the technique is first established with different shapes and sizes of phantom objects. The technique is applied to filter out low spatial frequencies corresponding to soft dense breast tissue and displaying only high spatial frequencies corresponding to microcalcifications in clinical screen film mammograms. With the aid of an electrically addressed spatial light modulator (SLM), we successfully adapt the technique for processing digital phantoms and digital mammograms. Unlike conventional optical spatial filtering techniques that use masks, the technique proposed can easily accommodate the changes in size and shape of details in a mammogram.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering