Biomedical Optics


Principal Investigator: Irving Bigio

The focus of our research is the development of minimally-invasive diagnostics and therapeutics based on optical and photonic technologies. We often collaborate with clinical researchers who test the new technologies on animals or human subjects. With noninvasive optical measurements there is minimal risk to the patient, but significant medical benefits are possible. Some of our ongoing projects include:

  • “Optical biopsy”: development of fiber-optic probes that perform spectroscopic measurements on tissue in vivo and noninvasively to instantly diagnose cancer and other pathologies in specific organ areas.
  • “Optical pharmacokinetics”: fiber-optic probes designed to measure drug concentrations in tissue, dramatically reducing the number of animals required for drug studies. This can also be used to determine the optimum type and dosage of novel (light-activated) chemotherapy agents for individual patients.
  • Sensors to monitor the response of tumors to specific treatments.
  • Optical methods for noninvasive imaging of neuronal activation and brain function.
  • Optical methods for identifying different types of infectious agents.