David Hall

David Hall specializes in time-domain (TD) optical imaging, which involves the collection of multiple parameters related to the emission of light by a fluorophore, yielding much more information than more widely used continuous wave fluorescent intensity measurements. Prior to joining the faculty at UC San Diego, Dr. Hall developed TD optical imaging devices for breast imaging and small animal molecular imaging at Advanced Research Technologies in Montreal.

Hall’s work developing new analytical approaches has significantly advanced the field of optical imaging. Specifically, he has introduced a method to estimate the relative concentration, lifetime, and depth of exogenous fluorophore, as well as a method of distinguishing tissue autofluorescence from the signal from a fluorescent probe. His ongoing development of a full-field fluorescence lifetime imaging system for small animals also stands to broaden research in this area by drastically shortening the time required to collect images.

time-domain fluorescence
Time-domain fluorescence imaging allows collection of data on a fluorophore’s (B) relative concentration, (C) lifetime, and (D) depth. Maps from a mouse injected intravenously with Cy7; the fluorophore-containing area corresponds to the bladder. From Han et al., Biophys J 2010.

Hall’s expertise has also aided in the development of novel optical imaging agents, including biodegradable luminescent porous silicon nanoparticles (with Prof. Michael Sailor) and a mannose receptor-targeted fluorescent radiopharmaceutical for lymph node imaging (with David Vera). Similarly, he has collaborated with Sadik Esener and Robert Mattrey to design ultrasound-modulated fluorescent contrast agents, which should allow greater imaging depth and resolution in tissues than standard fluorescent dyes. These agents consist of microbubbles surface-loaded with dye; ultrasound pulses alter the self-quenching between these dye molecules to allow distinction between the contrast agent and tissue autofluorescence.


Key publications

DJ Hall, SH Han, A Chepetan, EG Inui, M Rogers, LL Dugan. Dynamic optical imaging of metabolic and NADPH oxidase-derived superoxide in live mouse brain using fluorescence lifetime unmixing. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2012; 32(1): 23-32.

MJ Hsu, M Eghtedari, AP Goodwin, DJ Hall, RF Mattrey, SC Esener. Characterization of individual ultrasound microbubble dynamics with a light-scattering system. J Biomed Opt 2011; 16(6): 067002.

SH Han, S Farshchi-Heydari, DJ Hall. Analytical method for the fast time-domain reconstruction of fluorescent inclusions in vitro and in vivo. Biophys J 2010; 98(2): 350-7.