About the Wolfson Family Laboratory for Clinical and Biomedical Optics

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Our research focuses on developing new clinical indications for diffuse optics (e.g., neurodiagnostics to guide the care of children at risk for brain injury), and on using diffuse optics to illuminate causes of neurologic injury.

In the near-infrared spectral window (~650-950 nm), light transport over long distances in tissue is well approximated as a diffusive process. Diffuse optical techniques leverage this to non-invasively probe tissue hemodynamics millimeters to several centimeters beneath the tissue surface. Knowledge of hemodynamics, such as blood flow and oxygen metabolism, has clinical value for a diverse range of diseases, including traumatic brain injury, hydrocephalus, congenital heart disease, and stroke.

Lab members build and translate optical devices for bedside monitoring in clinical and preclinical studies of critical care, emergency care, cardiovascular disease, surgery, and other applications. Research effort spans a diverse range of areas, such as:

  • Developing light detection schemes and analysis algorithms to increase signal-to-noise, measurement speed, and depth sensitivity
  • Conducting clinical and preclinical cohort studies to identify and validate new optical diagnostics
  • Building advanced models of tissue light transport and vascular blood flow to better understand the relation between diffuse optical signals and underlying hemodynamics.
  • Harnessing multimodal hemodynamic data to develop predictive models of brain injuries.

Most of the lab's work is focused on neurological applications, but optics also provides access to other tissues such as skeletal muscle and the placenta.

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