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Seeing the invisible – Wolfgang Drexler’s inaugural lecture

Wolfgang Drexler, Professor of Medical Physics and Director of the Centre for Medical Physics and Biomedical Technology held his inaugural lecture on Tuesday 31st May 2011.

Drexler’s specialism is the morphological and functional Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which is an imaging technique which is similar to ultrasound technology but without any contact, can produce high-resolution cross-sectional images of biological tissue and thereby can be seen as an “optical biopsy”. Through the use of special laser light sources combined with highly-sensitive, extremely rapid (up to several million measurements per second) detection techniques, an extraordinarily high resolution (1-10 micrometers) can be achieved through OCT. Three-dimensional images of the tissue being examined are possible up to a penetration depth of 2 millimetres.

With approximately 32 million examinations, OCT is primarily established in ophthalmology; however the technology shall soon also be available for dermatology and cardiovascular diagnostics. The most important future fields of application according to Drexler shall be oncology, cardiology and molecular imaging. The research projects at the Centre for Medical Physics and Biomedical Technology are at the forefront of technology in the world.