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Biomedical Optics and Biomechanics

Semester 1

This course covers the theoretical background of image formation, optics fundamentals, tissue optical transport and the application of these concepts in advance optical microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. Emphasis will be placed on cancer detection and treatment. While the role of optics in medicine is still being defined, this course will introduce students to the latest topics in this and other rapidly emerging fields including the application of biomaterial for implantation, the biomechanical properties of these materials and their broad applications in medicine. In particular, the biomechanics of the spine; fractures and orthopaedic disorders; and biomaterials, their use, properties and preparation will be covered. The ethical and legal implications of controversial procedures will be examined. A significant component of this course will be dedicated to the application of advanced techniques in these fields with a review of current research findings. Mathematical analysis software (such as MatLab) and other image processing software (e.g.  Image J) will be extensively used to provide useful insight into the underpinning mathematics utilized in this course

  • Optics in Medical Physics:    Image formation and interferometry; theory of optics; tissue optics and optical microscopy; optical coherence topography and acousto-optics microscopy; lasers application in medicine; applications of microscopy and spectroscopy in medicine; tissue-light transport modeling using e.g. MatLab and image analysis
  • Biomechanics in Orthopaedics: Analysis of forces of bones and tissues with heavy focus on the spine; mechanical aspects of fractures; joint replacement and Gait analysis; biomechanics and orthopaedic disorders
  • Biomaterials:  Types of biomaterials and their use; properties of biomaterials; preparation of biomaterials for implantation
  • Ethical/legal aspects: Current and future ethical and legal implications associated with the use of biomaterials and nanoparticles in the treatment of diseases and similar dilemmas will be explored.

The course assessment will be as follows:

  • One 2-hour final written examination                         50%
  • One 1-hour in-course test                                            20%
  • 4 in-class in-class quizzes                                            5%
  • 1 term paper (minimum 1500 words)                          10%
  • 3 assignments of equal weighting                               15%
Learning Objectives: 


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • explain the use of lasers and advanced optical microscopy for physiological monitoring, medical diagnosis and the treatment of pathological conditions
  • apply fundamental concepts in optics to describe the process of image formation and the techniques of advanced optical microscopy imaging
  • describe the effects of forces such as tension, shear and compression on the structures of the spine, and determine the proper fixations for bone fractures
  • apply the principles of biomechanics to the analysis of injuries to the musculo-skeletal system, and to the selection of materials that are suitable for biological implants
  • use mathematical analyses and image processing tools to solve basic problems in light-tissue interaction
  • describe the main ethical and legal issues associated with the utilization of biomaterials for the treatment of disorders and the adoption of promising yet risky medical procedures



  • Fujimoto, J.G. and Farkas, D., (2009), Biomedical Optical Imaging, Oxford University Press; 1st Edition. ISBN-10: 0195150449 and ISBN-13: 978-0195150445
  • Nordin, M. and Frankel, V. (2012), Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers, 4th Edition. ISBN-10: 1609133358 and ISBN-13: 978-1609133351

Online resources:

Course Code: 
3 Credits
Level 3
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