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PITTSBURGH–Carnegie Mellon University is part of a five-year, $10 million program sponsored by the National Science Foundation to develop a new type of camera that peers deep beneath the skin to help diagnose and monitor a wide variety of health conditions.

The interdisciplinary effort, led by Rice University, will combine advanced optics and sophisticated computation to make sense of light that penetrates the skin but scatters off internal tissues and anatomical structures. This will enable noninvasive bio-optical imaging at a cellular scale — something not possible with ultrasound, X-rays and other medical imaging technologies.

“Bioimaging today enables us to see just a few millimeters beneath the skin,” said Srinivasa Narasimhan, a computer vision researcher and professor in CMU’s Robotics Institute who is associate director of the new project. “We’d like to go five to 10 times deeper. With every additional millimeter we go, this technology becomes more useful. We hope that eventually it might reduce or eliminate the need for biopsies.”

The NSF’s newly announced Expeditions in Computing program includes four co-investigators at CMU and another seven at Rice, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell University.

“Expeditions supports transformative research, and our goal is to create

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