Medical Optics

The scientific focus of the Medical Optics team is directed towards novel laser applications for medicine and biology, including imaging modalities and laser procedures for medical diagnosis and therapeutic treatment:

  • Unreliable and low bonding strength, as well as the tedious handling during surgery, have hampered the clinical application of laser-tissue-soldering. We aim at solving this problem by developing new absorber materials and mechanisms to control the soldering process.
  • Cochlear implant surgery involves drilling a path from the lateral skull to the cochlea. A main risk of this surgical intervention is injury to the facial nerve. We investigate the combination of laser bone drilling and optical nerve stimulation, to improve the drilling process over conventional mechanical drilling and to provide a feedback loop to avoid nerve damage.
  • Mucociliary clearance is a vital process, and dysfunction results in severe disease. Whereas the anatomical structure and function of the underlying actors – the cilia – is well known, the way how cilia coordinate to promote mucociliary transport is still a topic of debate. We focus on the investigation of mucociliary transport in living tissue samples using microscopic techniques on one hand, and on the development of models of a self-organising epithelium on the other hand.

Besides, we investigate basic thermodynamic properties of water. Various different theoretical models and empirically derived formulas exist for the water phase diagram, but they are badly backed by experimental data in the domain of extreme conditions. By investigating bubble nucleation inside liquid inclusions, we provide new experimental data for water at high negative pressures.