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Teaching Optics And Lasers In Biomedical Engineering

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



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Page Numbers

5.595.1 - 5.595.7

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Paper Authors

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Peter Milne

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Pascal Rol

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Jean-Marie Parel

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Fabrice Mann

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2209

Teaching optics and lasers in biomedical engineering

Fabrice Manns1,3, Pascal Rol1,2, Jean-Marie Parel1,3, Peter Milne3,4 1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Miami, FL/ 2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Zurich, Switzerland/ 3 Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, FL/ 4 Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Miami, FL


The development of a biomedical optics and laser curriculum at the University of Miami Department of Biomedical Engineering is presented. The objective of this curriculum is to provide students with a general knowledge of the principles of geometrical and physical optics, optical instrumentation, optical fibers and lasers, as well as a hands-on practical experience through laboratory sessions and individual projects. The ultimate goal is to give biomedical engineering students the ability to understand the principles of medical optical instruments and laser systems, and sufficient knowledge and practical experience to be able to design and operate basic optical and laser systems for biomedical applications.

1. Introduction and Objectives

Although light has been used in medicine and biology since ancient times, and optical instruments, such as microscopes and endoscopes, have been available for more than a century, biomedical optics has developed into a field of its own only in recent years, significantly spurred on by the development of lasers and optical fibers. Medicine was one of the first major applications of lasers, and today there is probably no field of medicine or biology which does not employ optics and lasers in some form. Biomedical optics is now an important and growing field of biomedical engineering. In the past 4 years, the creation of 2 dedicated peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Biomedical Optics, Applied Optics - Optical Technology and Biomedical Optics) in the US alone, attest to this. The growing market represented by the biomedical optics industry is also evidenced by the creation of new professional magazines, such as Biophotonics International in 1994.

Biomedical optics can be divided into two major sub-fields: diagnostics and therapy. Optical and laser diagnostic techniques include, for instance, microscopy, endoscopy and spectroscopy. Optical therapeutic techniques are mostly laser techniques related to surgery. Today lasers are used extensively for clinical interventions in many fields, including general surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, urology, dermatology, ophthalmology, cardiovascular surgery, oncology, gastro-enterology, ear nose and throat surgery, and gynecology. Optics and lasers are on the leading edge of minimally invasive therapy and diagnostics.

Milne, P., & Rol, P., & Parel, J., & Mann, F. (2000, June), Teaching Optics And Lasers In Biomedical Engineering Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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