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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

Video: Applying photonics to develop new medical treatments

In the clinic at Beckman Laser Institute, biophotonics brings together researchers, students, and patients.
29 November 2011, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201111.04

The Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic (BLI) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), is one of the first dedicated center for research and treatment using lasers and light. The institute was founded in 1986 by Michael Berns and Arnold O. Beckman, to use lasers to study the basic biology of cells, and to apply the knowledge gained from those studies to understanding, diagnosing and treating disease.

As a multi-disciplinary institute, graduate students in many UCI departments -- Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology and Biophysics, and Biological Science -- have pursued graduate research at the BLI. The BLI faculty have appointments in the Departments of Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pulmonology, Dermatology, Chemical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering; and training in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Mathematics.

BLI technologies and discoveries have had a major impact on cutaneous disease and treatment, cellular micromanipulation, intraluminal endoscopic imaging, functional imaging of cells and thick tissues, targeted phototherapies, and multi-modality imaging.

BLI is one of five national Beckman Institutes supported by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and built on the campuses of Caltech, the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Stanford, The City of Hope, and UC Irvine. Each Beckman Institute is dedicated to interdisciplinary research at the interface of physical science, engineering, and biology. Because the BLI also houses a medical clinic, it is unique among this group in its capacity for conducting translational research that moves basic technologies rapidly from "benchtop to bedside." Beckman specialists have performed more than 25,000 laser procedures involving facial plastic surgery, vascular birthmarks and malformations, breast cancer and treatment for a wide range of skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, psoriasis, birthmarks and skin cancers.