Two new papers in Proceedings of the IEEE have just come out - both on the common theme of biological inspiration in future imaging technologies.
Roberts, N.W., How, M.J., Porter, M.L., Temple, S.E., Caldwell, R.L., Powell, S.B., Gruev, V., Marshall, N.J., and Cronin, T.W. Animal Polarization Imaging and Implications for Optical Processing. Proceedings of the IEEE 102(10), 1427-1434, 2014.
Biologically inspired solutions for modern-day sensory systems promise to deliver both higher capacity and faster, more efficient processing of information than current computational approaches. Many animals are able to perform remarkable sensing tasks despite only being able to process what would be considered modest data rates and bandwidths. The key biological innovations revolve around dedicated filter designs. By sacrificing some flexibility, specifically matched and hard-wired sensory systems, designed primarily for single roles, provide a blueprint for data and task-specific efficiency. In this paper, we examine several animal visual systems designed to use the polarization of light in spatial imaging. We investigate some implications for artificial optical processing based on models of polarization image processing in fiddler crabs, cuttlefish, octopus, and mantis shrimp.
Powell, S.B., Gao, S., Kahan, L., Charanya, T., Saha, D., Roberts, N.W., Cronin, T.W., Marshall, J., Achilefu, S., Lake, S.P., Raman, B., Gruev, Bioinspired Polarization Imaging Sensors: From Circuits and Optics to Signal Processing Algorithms and Biomedical Applications. V. Proceedings of the IEEE 102(10), 1450-1469, 2014.
In this paper, we present recent work on bioinspired polarization imaging sensors and their applications in biomedicine. In particular, we focus on three different aspects of these sensors. First, we describe the electro–optical challenges in realizing a bioinspired polarization imager, and in particular, we provide a detailed description of a recent low-power complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) polarization imager. Second, we focus on signal processing algorithms tailored for this new class of bioinspired polarization imaging sensors, such as calibration and interpolation. Third, the emergence of these sensors has enabled rapid progress in characterizing polarization signals and environmental parameters in nature, as well as several biomedical areas, such as label-free optical neural recording, dynamic tissue strength analysis, and early diagnosis of flat cancerous lesions in a murine colorectal tumor model. We highlight results obtained from these three areas and discuss future applications for these sensors.