The Department of Biomedical Photonics of the Institute of Applied Physics focuses on research and development in the field of laser applications in medicine, including optoacoustic imaging, laser tissue soldering, cilia and mucociliary transport imaging, and various femtosecond laser applications. The department serves as a competent link between physics orientated basic research and medical and biological oriented fields. All research projects are based on interdisciplinary solutions to problems concerning all fields of therapeutic and diagnostic medical laser applications. The Biomedical Pho- tonics department is at the forefront of ground breaking research in multimodal imaging. The vision is the advancement of ultrasound far beyond the state-of-the-art, augmenting conventional ultrasound with novel ultrasound-based contrast modes such as optoacoustic imaging, elastography or speed of sound imaging. Speed of sound has great potential not only as a novel imaging modality to diagnose cancer, but will also improve conventional ultrasound and optoacoustic imaging because resolution crucially depends on accurate knowledge of sound speed. An important research is concentrated on modeling light propagation in tissue using state of the art Monte Carlo simulations which also take the polarization stage of light into account. The aim is to characterize tissue based on its specific optical properties to visualize for example structural differences between white matter and a tumor in the human brain.

All research developments are done in close collaboration with various national and international research partners, clinics and industry.


  • Medical Optics
  • Optoacoustic Imaging


  • Light interaction with soft and hard matter
  • Light propagation in highly scattering media
  • Therapeutic applications of laser
  • Multimodal diagnostic imaging
  • Basic research on muco-ciliary clearance
  • Optoacoustic and ultrasound imaging


Prof. Martin Frenz