Xuan Ding


Xuan Ding

Xuan Ding

Faculty Mentor: Kang Kim

Research: Stroke affects millions in the US every year and is referred to as an ischemic stroke when an acute arterial occlusive event that leads to tissue damage and death in the brain. Surgical interventions exist that might help to prevent stroke; however, current screening modalities often cannot accurately predict which patients will go on to suffer from stroke which complicates the implementation of these measures. 

Ischemic stroke is most often caused by the rupture of pre-existing atherosclerotic plaque and the subsequent formation of occlusive thrombus at the site of rupture. The concept of the vulnerable plaque was proposed in order to explain why only some plaques rupture while others do not. Characteristic features of these plaques include a lipid core, microcalcifications, and a thin fibrous cap. Color duplex sonography (CDS) is the current gold standard for assessing carotid plaques, but it can only discern the anatomical structure of plaques (% stenosis) and is unable to identify these key features. My project involves the development of a new multi-modality imaging approach combining Thermal Strain Imaging (TSI) and Photoacoustic Imaging (PAI) implemented on a commercial ultrasound platform can be used to identify features of vulnerable plaques which include a lipid rich core and microcalcifications.

The proposed multi-modality approach using TSI and PAI, two new ultrasound-based technologies, can help to identify multiple characteristics of vulnerable plaques. This will be a step towards the long term goal of developing a cost-effective, non-invasive imaging system that could be integrated into a commercial ultrasound scanner to augment CDS. This future clinical system would permit the creation of a single co-registered image featuring information regarding lipid content, microcalcifications, and percent stenosis with the intent of helping clinicians to prevent morbidity and mortality due to stroke.


  • X. Ding, D. Dutta, A. M. Mahmoud, and K. Kim. "Adaptive Displacement Estimation For Reconstruction of Thermal Strain."   Ultrasonics Symposium. 2013.


  • IEEE UFFC International Ultrasound Symposium, 7/21/2013.


Xuan's research interests broadly include the development of novel medical imaging technologies. More specifically, he works with Dr. Kang Kim to develop novel ultrasound-based medical imaging modalities for applications in cardiovascular disease.