The Biomedical Optics department (more information available here) combines the use of lasers for imaging, laser surgery, and cell and tissue manipulation. The department can be subdivided into two groups: Biophotonic Imaging and Manipulation and Image-Guided Laser Surgery. Apart from the intentional division of the thematic fields into in vitro applications and in vivo applications, there is a high cooperative application potential and a high level of cooperation in the whole department, especially concerning imaging. Above all, based on the visualization techniques of different processes in medicine, biomedicine, biomedical technology and their research activities, there is close cooperation between the department and the faculties and research institutes of the Leibniz Universität Hannover, the Hannover Medical School, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation and the related research organizations such as CrossBit, NIFE (formerly NZ-BMT) or LEBAO. Networking of the medical, veterinarian and biological partners has led to participation in various special research areas and the cluster of excellence REBIRTH.
(Regenerative Biology and Reconstructive Therapies). The Biomedical Optics Department can use their expertise here, especially in multimodal imaging. Thanks to the techniques of OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) and SLOT (Scanning Laser Optical Tomography), the scale of work reaches from two-photon microscopy on the one hand, to clinical imaging (MRT, CT and others) on the other hand. These two imaging technologies and confocal diffuse light microscopy, which is available in the department, can detect similar as well as similar cell markers, and furthermore image data can be compared with each other. A translation up to clinical imaging is the goal of the activities within REBIRTH.
Furthermore, the basics of laser cell and laser tissue interaction are being researched in the department. In this area, the goal is, apart from gaining a better understanding of the processes which are partly already in use in clinical applications, to show new possibilities or the optimization of established processes. For example, nanoparticle-based cell transfection can be carried out more efficiently than conventional, for example chemical processes, can. On larger scales, pulse-to-pulse interaction is being examined, when high-repeating ultra-short pulse lasers cut transparent tissues in the lens or in cornea surgery. The stage of tissue cutting can also be controlled using OCT. This combination of “cutting” (therapy) and “seeing” (diagnostics) can be summarized by the term “seeing laser scalpel”. There are different activities here, in the areas of neuro-surgery, laryngoscopy, ophthalmology, and otolaryngology.
Apart from the research organizations already named, which are financed using public funding, the Biomedical Optics Department has close cooperation with companies from the ophthalmology sector. Apart from Rowiak GmbH the long-term cooperation with Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG from Switzerland should be named; this has led to a very successful ultra-short pulse laser system for refractive surgery.