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Biomedical Optics

Department 8.3


We develop and investigate optically supported quantitative measurement and imaging methods for medical diagnostics and therapy control, mostly in collaboration with clinical partners. The focus of activities of the working group 8.31 is on optical spectroscopy and imaging for non-invasive quantitative determination of important biomarkers (e.g. hemoglobin concentration, oxygen saturation) in tissue in vivo as well as for the visualization of disease-related molecular changes by means of fluorescence-labeled probes. In addition, microscopic imaging techniques are developed and studied for the characterization and differentiation of single biological cells in flow. In working group 8.32, flow cytometric and microscopic measurement methods for cells as well as molecular biological measurement methods for the detection and quantification of pathogens (e.g. viruses such as HIV and SARS-CoV2, or bacteria) are investigated for metrology in laboratory diagnostics. The aim is, among other things, the development of reference measurement methods as well as the determination of reference measurement values for external quality assurance schemes which are legally required for medical laboratories.


Finding genetic sequences plays a key role in modern medical diagnostics. Today genetic sequences are commonly determined by next-generation-sequencing (NGS) techniques. Applications include cancer diagnostics and detection of pathogens. Such NGS techniques also lead to the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

PTB´s Institute Berlin held a workshop “Metrology Needs for Next-Generation-Sequencing”...

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Diffuse optical imaging allows the characterization of physiological parameters of tumors in the breast. By using appropriate wavelengths in the near-infrared spectral region, the concentrations of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin, as well as water and collagen content, can be estimated. In the scanning method shown in the left figure, picosecond laser pulses are broadened by the strong...

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Fluorophores are substances that fluoresce, i.e., that emit light after prior excitation. Micro- and nanoparticles loaded with fluorophores are widely used in materials and life sciences, e.g., in fluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry. For a comparability of the measured fluorescence intensities between different instruments or laboratories, which usually provide only relative values, a...

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