OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY: OCT systems/apps workshop set to expand in duration

The first annual workshop of the Center for Biomedical OCT Research and Translation (CBORT; http://cbort.mgh.harvard.edu), held July 30–31 in Boston, brought together a select group of 18 engineers and researchers—from academia and industry around the country and the world—for intense theoretical and practical training of optical coherence tomography (OCT) principles and functionality. Titled OCT: Technical Foundations and Systematic Implementation, the workshop was presented by leaders in OCT, including CBORT principal investigator Brett Bouma, Professor of Dermatology and Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physicist in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The instructors covered light source development, signal processing and system calibration, system integration, imaging probes, and image processing and interpretation.

At one of the labs during the first CBORT workshop in July, a student is being shown the user interface of an optical frequency-domain imaging (OFDI) system
At one of the labs during the first CBORT workshop in July, a student is being shown the user interface of an optical frequency-domain imaging (OFDI) system.

With a focus on OCT and a mission to pioneer and provide access to microscopic imaging instruments for biologic and clinical research, CBORT was established in 2009 at MGH and Harvard Medical School, and in 2011 became a National Biomedical Resource Center. "Ultimately, it is our mission through these educational programs to further the OCT field and facilitate the widespread acceptance of this technology in research and clinical medicine," said CBORT administrative director Jacqueline Namati, Ph.D. Nemati notes that the workshop will likely expand in the future from a two-day event to a week-long program designed to target not only technical folks, but also biologists and other application specialists. But organizers plan to still limit attendance in order to provide a high instructor-to-student ratio and plenty of hands-on experience.

This is exciting because CBORT—which receives funding from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering—aims to help advance OCT technology to identify new methods for diagnosis and insights into disease, and formulate new therapeutic strategies or drug targets. A major goal of the center is to cultivate strategic research collaborations and application-specific OCT instrumentation and hardware.

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