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Aug. 17, 2012
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July 14, 2012
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Organized by:

Saratov State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky

Institute of Precision Mechanics and Control, Russian Academy of Sciences

Research-Educational Institute of Optics and Biophotonics at Saratov State University

Research-Educational Center of Nonlinear Dynamics & Biophysics (REC-006) of CRDF and Ministry of Education and Science of RF

International Research-Educational Center of Optical Technologies for Industry and Medicine “Photonics” at Saratov State University

Volga Region Center of New Information Technologies

Biomedical Photonics Committee of Chinese Optical Society

Saratov State Medical University

SPIE Student Chapter

OSA Student Chapter

In cooperation with:

Academy of Natural Sciences, Saratov Regional Division

Russian Society for Photobiology

Saratov Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Photonics4Life Consortium of EC FP7: Network of Excellence for Biophotonics

Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH

Co-sponsored by:

Russian Foundation for Basic Research

Russian Academy of Sciences

U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (CRDF)

SPIE - The International Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

SPE “Nanostructed Glass Technology” Ltd., Saratov


OSA Short Course: Optical elastography: Prospects in medicine for micro-imaging of tissue mechanical properties

Sampson 2012

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By Prof. David D. Sampson

Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering and Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Palpation, the sensing of tissue mechanical properties through touch, has been a main means of physicians’ identification of abnormal or diseased tissues for centuries. In the late 1980s, the first attempts were made to augment palpation using modern medical imaging. Mechanically loading a tissue and using a medical imaging modality to map the resulting tissue displacements can produce elastograms of a tissue’s mechanical properties – the same properties that enable diagnosis through palpation. The resolution of the result is closely tied to that of the modality, most commonly either ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.

For applications such as cancer surgery, mapping tissue mechanical properties with still higher resolution is expected to bring additional benefits. For example, breast-conserving surgery for the treatment of breast cancer has suboptimal outcomes leading to approximately one out of three-to-four patients requiring a second operation due to insufficient removal of tumour, which is often discovered post-surgery upon microscopic assessment of the excised tissue. Improved resolution of tumour margins during surgery may help improve this statistic. Such resolution enhancement is the goal of optical coherence elastography, the use of optical coherence tomography to perform elastography.

In this short course, I will describe the historical development of elastography methods, including the optical methods developed since the 1990s. I will focus on recent advances, such as overcoming the limited penetration depth inherent to optical methods through needle elastography, and show examples of the current state-of-the-art optical elastography imaging of tissues, including human breast tumours.

Learning Objectives

This course will enable you to:

Intended audience

Engineers, scientists, and physicians who are interested in the principles and applications of optical and laser-based methods developed for clinical medical and biomedical science will benefit from this course.

Course level


Course Length



Winthrop Professor Sampson is Director of the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis (CMCA), a core facility of the University of Western Australia, and heads the Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (OBEL) in the School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering. He directs the Western Australian nodes of the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF) and the National Imaging Facility (NIF), and the Western Australian State Government's Centre for eMedicine. W/Prof. Sampson’s research interests are in biomedical optical engineering, with an emphasis on photonics, imaging and microscopy, and particularly their application in clinical medicine. He has authored more than 110 journal papers, raised more than $35M in research funding, and given more than 100 invited talks and colloquia. A major emphasis of his research is the medical imaging modality optical coherence tomography. He has pioneered anatomical optical coherence tomography, a version that enables dynamic 3D imaging of hollow organ anatomy, and its application in human airways. His team is extensively engaged in advancing microscope-in-a-needle technology and its application in intraoperative cancer imaging. He is active in methods and medical applications of optical elastography, the micro-imaging of tissue mechanical properties. He has also made advances in holographic microscopy.

Personnel to contact with:

Instructor: Prof. David D. Sampson