BME Seminar Series: Andrew Berger
Biomedical Adventures in the Near Infrared: Single Cells and Working Brains
Associate Professor, The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester
Because it is weakly absorbed by most biological molecules, near infrared (NIR) light has many nice properties for biomedical applications. Heating effects are not as severe, fluorescence emission is not as strong, and penetration depths are not as shallow. This talk will focus on two projects that exploit these advantages in different ways. In the first, we discriminate between different single immune cells based upon NIR scattering, combining elastic and inelastic (Raman) modalities in a single instrument. Cells of different types can be distinguished both by their chemical content and by the size distribution of their organelles. In the other project, cerebral responses to visual stimuli are detected based upon NIR absorption. A simple two-detector scheme to reject physiological noise provides cleaner response signals from all subjects, representing one step closer to the goal of an “optical fMRI” for the head.