Biomedical Imaging using Optical Frequency Combs

Benjamin Vakoc, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, Member of Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Faculty

Friday, March 1st at 11:45 am

In-Person in SMBB 2650!

Benjamin Vakoc, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Faculty. After working in a venture-funded start-up that developed optical devices for the telecommunications market, he joined the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital to bring optical technologies to the clinic and biology laboratory. His group focuses on the development and translation of optical coherence tomography and related imaging technologies.


For more than 30 years, scientists and clinicians have leveraged light coherence and optical interferometry to see into complex biological samples and tissues. Today, these techniques, known collectively as optical coherence tomography (OCT), are standard-of-care tools in a diverse set of medical disciplines. Meanwhile, in the separate fields of physics and metrology, optical frequency combs (OFCs) have emerged as essential light sources with unique temporal properties. Our work focuses on the convergence of these fields and the synergy between OFCs and biomedical OCT. We show that OFCs allow us to sidestep many of traditional OCT’s critical technological barriers and open coherent imaging to a broader set of applications. In this talk, we highlight the motivation for using OFCs and their technological implementation in coherent imaging, and we also present results from the early-stage translation of these systems in diagnostic and interventional medical imaging.