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34550 Biomedical optics

Danish title:

Bio-medicinsk optik


Point( ECTS )


Course type:

Taught under single-course student
Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Medicine and Technology
Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Photonics
Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Physics and Nanotechnology


E4A (Tues 13-17)


Campus Lyngby

Scope and form:

Lectures and group work

Duration of Course:

13 weeks

Date of examination:

E4A, F4A

Type of assessment:



Recommended prerequisites:


General course objectives:

The interest for applications of coherent light and optical sensing in biology and medicine has been increasing the past years. This is partly due to the development of new laser systems, partly the development in optical systems and finally advances in precise and non-invasive diagnostics and analyses. The course is divided into three areas: 1) Light sources for medical diagnostics and treatment, 2) light-tissue interactions, and 3) Optical methods for bio-imaging.

Learning objectives:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
  • Discuss basic optical principles like coherence, interference and diffraction, and determine imaging properties of simple rays in spherical lenses and mirrors.
  • Explain the principle of laser action and understand the mode of operation of the various components in different laser systems.
  • Discuss the physics behind nonlinear frequency conversion, and describe tuning properties of coherent light sources based on nonlinear frequency conversion.
  • Explain different light-tissue interactions, e.g.: Photochemical, thermal, photo induced plasma and photo ablation, and be able to relate these interactions to the characteristics of the light source.
  • Discuss the optical properties of tissue (scattering and absorption) and the wavelength dependencies of these processes.
  • Describe the principle of transport theory and knowledge of solutions, including diffusion theory.
  • Apply the principle of Monte Carlo simulations as a general solution and understand how this method can be used to solve transport theory of light propagation in scattering media.
  • Explain and discuss the functionality of a specific optically based diagnostic system, OCT, and two-photon microscopy
  • Describe spectroscopic techniques such as fluorescence, two-photon microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy, and understand the basic operation and limitations of a spectrometer.
  • Orally present scientific papers within the areas of the course and discuss results.


The lectures will cover the biological and medical background for application of light for treatment and diagnosis, especially propagation of light in human tissue, interaction between light and tissue, possibilities for therapy with light and imaging methods. An important topic is the optical properties of the eye: Spectral properties, fluorescence of the various parts of the eye, optical diagnostics by scattered light within the eye, properties of the retina and possibilities for healing by optical treatment. Further, modern coherent light sources will be covered such as the optical properties of laser beams, different laser systems and their potential for bio-medical applications. Throughout the course examples and external visits will be used whenever possible.


Lecturers from DTU Fotonik, DTU Nutech, and a number of invited external lectures.

Green challenge participation:

Please contact the teacher for information on whether this course gives the student the opportunity to prepare a project that may participate in DTU´s Study Conference on sustainability, climate technology, and the environment (GRØN DYST). More infor http://www.groendyst.dtu.dk/english


Peter Tidemand-Lichtenberg , Building 108, Ph. (+45) 4677 4579 , ptli@fotonik.dtu.dk
Peter E. Andersen , Risø Campus, Building 108, Ph. (+45) 4677 4555 , peta@fotonik.dtu.dk
Lars René Lindvold , Risø Campus, Building 201, Ph. (+45) 4677 4969 , lali@dtu.dk


34 Department of Photonics Engineering

External Institution:

Glostrup Hospital

Registration Sign up:

At CampusNet
Last updated: 12. maj, 2015