Optical Imaging Needles: Bringing Optics Deep Inside the Body

Hosted By: Imaging Optical Design Technical Group

12 March 2018, 18:00 - 19:00

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Optical imaging technologies, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), have the potential to acquire exquisitely high-resolution images of tissue and provide a new generation of intra-operative guidance tools for surgeons. However, their limited image penetration depth places most diseases beyond their reach. In this webinar hosted by the OSA Imaging Optical Design Technical Group, Dr. Robert McLaughlin from the University of Adelaide will present his team’s work focused on the development of OCT imaging needles, highly miniaturized imaging probes that are encased within a hypodermic needle, which may be inserted deep into tissue.

During the webinar, Dr. McLaughlin will describe their development of OCT imaging needles and give specific case studies of clinical applications. Dr. McLaughlin and his team have recently integrated their probes into brain biopsy needles to enable safer neurosurgery and have recently performed their first experiments in humans. In addition, the team has developed the first dual-modality needle probes, capable of simultaneously acquiring OCT and fluorescence images, and showed them to be sufficiently sensitive to detect signal from fluorescently-labelled anti-bodies targeted for specific cells types.

What You Will Learn:

  • What imaging needles are and how they are fabricated
  • Optical design for micro-optics
  • Biomedical applications for imaging needles

Who Should Attend:

  • Optical engineers
  • Optical imaging specialists
  • Clinical imaging professionals
  • Graduate students



Dr. Robert McLaughlin, University of Adelaide

Prof Robert McLaughlin is Chair of Biophotonics at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics at the University of Adelaide (Australia), and Managing Director of the imaging company, Miniprobes. After a post-doc at the University of Oxford, he left academia for industry, working in a University spin-out company. He was later appointed as a Product Manager at Siemens Medical Solutions. He has been responsible for the development of three commercial medical products. He returned to academia in 2007 and, in 2016, took up a position as a full professor. He has published 2 book chapters, 66 journal papers and 8 patents, and been awarded over $5M in research funding. In 2014, he led the team named WA Innovator of the Year and won the SPIE Start-up Challenge. In 2015, his team were awarded the Australian Innovation Challenge. His work has focused on the development of optical imaging needles; and on the use of OCT to assess blood vessels.