Coherent Imaging


Optical Coherence Imaging evolved to a new imaging concept with unique features.

Our recent research projects dedicated to Optical Coherence Tomography and in particular to Fourier Domain Optical Coherence Tomography exploit fully these features for fast 3D-imaging with high penetration depths. Several medical applications such as retina imaging, bloodflow monitoring, skin structure and advanced concepts in microscopy with new applications in oncology, diabetes and stem cell research have been successfully addressed.

Project: Beta.Image

Title Beta.Image – Use of beta-cell imaging in diabetes mellitus
Funding EU Project N° 587067
Schedule 01.10.2009 – 30.09.2012

The development of sensitive, non-invasive methods for the characterisation and quantification of beta-cell mass would greatly enhance our means for gaining understanding of the pathophysiology of diabetes and allow the development of novel therapies to prevent, halt and reverse the disease. The aim of this project is to develop and apply innovative approaches for beta-cell imaging, the emphasis being on beta-cell mass regulation (loss and neogenesis) with the perspective of entering initial clinical trials. For this purpose, our approach is to:

  1. Focus on imaging technologies offering the potential to enter clinical trials during the runtime of the project. Since beta cells contribute only marginally (1-2%) to the total mass of the pancreas, a highly sensitive method for clinical imaging is required. BetaImage will focus on positron emission tomography (PET) relying on chemical resolution, i.e. the specificity of a radiolabelled tracer molecule.
  2. Devise novel imaging strategies by generating labelled “design” molecules/peptides/Affibody molecules targeting newly identified beta-cell surface proteins. These targets will be identified using a Systems Biology approach. For high-throughput tracer development, a stream-lined methodology will be established based on in vitro model systems and micro-/macroscopic in vivo real time dynamic imaging of tracer distribution by optical coherence tomography and complementary small animal PET and MRI.

To achieve these ambitious goals, we have established a highly interdisciplinary and interactive project. In this way, a unique expertise is achieved regarding tracer development and imaging, beta-cells/diabetes and target definition.

Project: Functional Imaging

Title Functional Imaging and Fourier Domain Optical Coherence Microscopy
Funding FNS Project N° 511358
Schedule 01.10.2008 – 30.09.2010

The assessment of dynamic processes opens new horizons in biomicroscopy due to the fast 4D-imaging. Monitoring of blood flow, imaging of muscle contractions with the real perspective of monitoring neuronal activity offers a huge untapped potential due to the outstanding performance of xfOCM.

In this project we intend to push the limits towards higher resolution and towards phase imaging based on new interferometer concepts. Therefore we will put an additional effort into the development of design tools (focus field engineering, interferometer design including high NA optics) which will together with new concepts in image processing result in an overall improvement of the 3D image quality.