MACI Helps Solidify Biophysics Applications of Lasers

For Dr. Clarence Capjack and Dr. Wojciech Rozmus of the University of Alberta, “studying matter under extreme conditions” has taken on a new dimension. Their current research project is crossing over from traditional theoretical challenges of plasma and laser physics to an applied research approach where they are using numerical codes to develop and design a powerful diagnostic tool.

With the support of the MACI computational grid of resources, Capjack and Rozmus and members of their group, Dr. A. Maximov (research associate) and Yunfeng Shao (graduate student) have developed new numerical algorithms, based on a spectral method that analyzes the scattering of electromagnetic radiation from biological cells. Their numerical algorithm, computationally, is proving to be very successful. The model includes a nonparaxial electromagnetic wave equation, where cells are described in terms of perturbations of an index of refraction. With the breakthrough of this theoretical approach Capjack and Rozmus have teamed up with Dr. Chris Backhouse from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in an effort to design and build a new biomedical diagnostic tool, called a microcytometer.

This new three parameter microcytometer is a powerful version of the biomedical tool which has extensive capabilities to analyze cells. Their design will allow for the easy identification of cell size, as well as internal structure and chemical composition. The implications of this design are great. Not only will this microcytometer enable the consistent analysis of cells, it also has the potential to greatly influence the biomedical field with respect to the future of tissue analysis and exploration.

The MACI infrastructure at the University of Alberta has played an integral part in this research duo’s success. The development and design of Rozmus’ and Capjack’s computationally intensive algorithm would not have been possible with out the immense storage and memory capabilities of a high performance computer system. Continued technological support of this extent are essential, to ensure the continuation of leading edge biomedical research and success.

Selected Publications

Y. Shao, A. Maximov, I. Ourdev, W. Rozmus and C. E. Capjack. Spectral Method Simulations of Light Scattering by Biological Cells, IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, in press, 2001.

A. Maximov, I. Ourdev, D. Pesme, W. Rozmus, V.T. Tikhonchuk and C.E. Capjack. Plasma Induced Smoothing of a Spatially Incoherent Laser Beam and Reduction of Backward Stimulates Brillouin Scattering, Phys. Plasmas, 8 in press, 2001.

E. Fourkal, V. Yu Bychenkov, W. Rozmus, R. Sydora, C. Kikrby, C. E. Capjack, S Glenzer, H. Baldis. Electron Distribution Function in Laser Heated Plasmas, Phys. Plasmas, 8, 550-556, 2001.

D. Pesme, W. Rozmus, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Maximov, I. Ourdev, C. H. Still. Resonant Instability of Laser Filaments in a Plasma, Phys. Rev. Lett., 84 278-282, 2000.

C. Labaune, H. Baldis, E. Schiffano, B. Bauer, A. Maximov, I. Ourdev, W. Rozmus and D. Pesme. Enhanced Forward Scattering in the Case of Two Crossed Laser beams Interacting with a Plasma, Phys. Rev. Lett., 85 1658-1661, 2000.

A. Maximov, R. Oppitz, W. Rozmus, V. Tikhonchuk, Nonlinear Stimulated Brillouin Scattering in Inhomogeneous Plasmas, Phys. Plasmas, 7, 4227-4237, 2000.