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Optical Monitoring and Imaging in Medicine

2PM 11 December 2003, Social Studies S.021

Professor David Delpy, Vice Provost, UCL, and School of Medical Physics

The use of optical techniques for the diagnosis of disease and the monitoring of patients is as old as medicine, although before the mid 1800's, the data was of a qualitative and observational nature.

Optical methods were put on a more scientific and objective basis following the development in the first half of the 20th century of instrumentation enabling quantitative measurement of spectral content and light intensity.

However, the most dramatic changes have taken place over the last thirty years, driven by the parallel technical developments in lasers, optical fibres and semiconductors. It is now possible to use optical techniques (often in a non-invasive manner) to provide accurate and localised measurements of parameters such as blood oxygenation, volume and flow, tissue metabolism, biochemical makeup and structure.

The talk will highlight some of the numerous techniques that are currently being worked on in the Biomedical Optics Research group at UCL.

For more information see or contact Charlotte Hetherington at