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T6. Optical Coherence Tomography: Methods and Biomedical Applications

T6. Optical Coherence Tomography: Methods and Biomedical Applications

Who should attend: Physicists in academia and industry from GMED, DBIO, DSOFT, DAMOP, FIAP, GIMS, and other APS units interested in applications of physics in medicine. Researchers without prior experience are welcome.

Description: Current advances in optical technologies provide new means to study and manipulate biological systems using endo- and exogenous chromophores or scatterers. The discoveries in the field of biomedical optics have utilized light-based techniques to obtain information about biological tissues over different scales, i.e. from single molecule to animals and human patients. Therefore, it is expected that biomedical optics will become an important player in next generation diagnostics and therapy. This tutorial will focus on optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT uses low-coherence light to capture high-resolution, two- and three-dimensional images from within optical scattering media. The tutorial will be organized as a hands-on workshop where the attendees will be introduced to OCT by (i) performing numerical simulations of light transport in biological tissues, (ii) remote participation in experimental OCT measurements, and (iii) analyzing the measured data. Each part of the tutorial will be led by experts in the field providing instruction and assisting the attendees in practical assignments. Other promising optical techniques for clinical applications will also be discussed (e.g., spectroscopy, photoacoustics). We believe that the emphasis on hands-on active learning will make this tutorial particularly valuable to researchers interested in biomedical optics, but with limited experience with modern biophotonic instrumentation.

Topics to be covered:

  • Theoretical background and recent advances in OCT: Theoretical background of OCT and recent advances in the field. Other biomedical optics techniques will be introduced and compared to OCT.
  • Simulation of OCT: Introduce methods for simulation of light-tissue interactions in application to OCT, including practical aspects of the simulation tools. The goal is to prepare the attendees to independently conduct simulation studies of OCT.
  • Experimental OCT: A practical demonstration of OCT measurements under a variety of measurement conditions. The experiments will be presented via an interactive video link with Vanderbilt University. This will enable the participants to be actively involved in experiment design and troubleshooting. Participants will analyze the acquired data.
  • Clinical applications: Throughout the tutorial, we will use examples from dermatology and ophthalmology to present how OCT is used in (pre)clinical diagnostics. (Pre)clinical use of other biomedical optical techniques will also be introduced.

We will provide the necessary software tools for OCT simulation and data analysis.


  • Matija Milanic, (University of Ljubljana)


  • Daniel Martijn De Bruin, (Amsterdam UMC)
  • Yuankai Kenny Tao, (Vanderbilt University)
  • Audrey K. Bowdens, (Vanderbilt University)