Dr. Richard R. Bouchard
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Imaging Physics
Today’s healthcare climate calls for medical technology that provides a safe, inexpensive, patient-specific, and point-of care diagnostic and therapeutic solution. Ultrasound-mediated imaging technologies, such as photoacoustic (PA) or elasticity imaging, allow clinicians to probe a patient’s specific molecular composition, permit assessment of tissue viscoelasticity, or afford unprecedented contrast for real-time image-guided therapy. Ultrasound-mediated imaging solutions can be provided at a price point, convenience, and operating ease that permits bedside utilization or straightforward intraoperative integration. Consequently, I have focused my research program on clinical photoacoustic-ultrasonic (PAUS) and acoustic radiation force (ARF)-based elasticity imaging technologies. I have targeted prostatic and cardiac diseases because of their high incidence in the United States and the reasonable access one can achieve to these organs with transrectal or intracardiac imaging transducers. Specifically, I am investigating novel uses of PAUS and (ARF)-based imaging in the detection, assessment, and treatment of cancer and cardiac disease. Although my primary research focus is the development of clinical techniques, I have also invested considerable effort in preclinical (i.e., murine model) PAUS imaging of molecular (i.e., nanoscale) theranostic probes, some of which share translational relevance with the aforementioned clinical applications.
Project/Techniques: Students conducting a tutorial in my laboratory will gain experience in the development and optimization of novel photoacoustic or ultrasound-based imaging techniques. Imaging experiments will generally be performed in phantom, small-animal (i.e., murine), or large-animal (i.e., canine) disease models with or without exogenous contrast (e.g., targeted gold nanoparticles or microbubbles). Tutorial projects could include the design and construction of basic electrical/mechanical experimental imaging apparatuses, acquisition of imaging data in a murine tumor model, characterization of targeted theranostic agents, PA imaging integration with other modalities (e.g., MRI), acoustical/optical modeling, or post-processing and image formation of ultrasound RF data (for PA or US imaging).