Interview Hans Ingelberts

Hans Ingelberts from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is leading work package 2 of the CoDaFlight project. In this work package, the project members are building the next generation fluorescence lifetime imaging devices for clinical application. We have interviewed Hans about his role in the project and the main challenges of the project.

Hello, I’m Hans Ingelberts, I’m a postdoc engineer at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

What is your role within the project?

So here, at the VUB engineering department,I’m basically leading the development of that time-domain fluorescence lifetime camera, so it’s the camera with the electronics, and also very importantly the image sensor that goes into the camera. Apart from that, I am also the work package leader for work package two which is the instrument development, that’s where we combine our special time-domain camera with the pulse laser illumination, with also the spatial light illumination that will come from the Greek team and with the software, all into one instrument capable of performing that TD-FLI. And lastly, I’m also for VUB the deputy coordinator of the project.

What are the challenges in developing this technology?

So, first of all, it’s a very challenging technology on its own because fluorescence imaging it’s already not so straightforward: you have to keep light separated, excitation light separated from the emission of the fluorescence, make sure you detect only the right signals, but when you add the time domain you add pulse lasers, you add synchronization, the distances from the camera start becoming important, you can have other artifacts not in the spectral domain but now you can have artifacts in the time domain, so you add a layer of capability but you also add another layer of complexity which makes it quite hard to make it all work properly.

What are the challenges of the project?

It’s a project which runs over multiple countries with motivated people in different institutions but we’re far apart and we need to learn how to work with each other, understand each other and there’s an extra layer of coordination that also comes on top of this which is also a challenge to add to the research.