BME 236 Engineering Optics for Medical Applications (2013-2014)

BME 236 Engineering Optics for Medical Applications

(Not required for any major. Elective for BME-G.)
Catalog Data:

BME 236 Engineering Optics for Medical Applications (Credit Units: 4) Fundamentals of optical system design, integration, and analysis used in biomedical optics. Design components: light sources, lenses, mirrors,dispension elements, optical fibers, detectors. Systems integration microscopy, radiometry, interferometry. Optical system analysis: resolution, modulation transfer function, deconvolution, interference, tissue optics, noise. Prerequisite: BME130, BME135. Biomedical Engineering majors have first consideration for enrollment. Concurrent with BME 136. (Design units: 0)

Required Textbook:
. Edition, , 1969, ISBN-13 978-0805385663.

Recommended Textbook:

Lectures and problem sets are available and downloadable from the course website. Handouts from the instructor.

Bruce Tromberg
Relationship to Student Outcomes
No student outcomes specified.
Course Learning Outcomes. Students will:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of optics and how basic principles are used to design and optimize optical instruments used in medical diagnostics

2. Describe geometrical optics and its role in the design of microscopy instruments

3. Describe wave optics and its role in the design of instrumentation for optical coherence tomography

4. Describe basics of light matter interactions and its role in spectroscopy instruments

5. Explain principles of diffuse optics and its role in the development of photon migration and photothermal techniques for subsurface tissue imaging

Prerequisites by Topic

Electromagnetic fields and solutions of problems in engineering applications. Maxwell’s equations and plane wave propagation.

Lecture Topics:
  • Introduction and overview of biomedical optics
  • Principles of geometrical optics, lenses, apertures, ray diagrams
  • Principles of geometrical optics, fibers and waveguides
  • Integration of geometrical optics into Microscopy systems
  • Applications of microscopy systems and laser scanning microscopies
  • Laser scanning microscopy; Principles of waves, interference, coherence
  • Principles of polarization and Doppler
  • Integration of wave concepts into the design of optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems
  • Applications of OCT in biology and medicine
  • Basic light matter interactions: absorption, emission, scattering
  • Photonic devices- sources: lasers, LEDs, SLDs
  • Photonic devices- detectors: performance theory; photomultipliers, photodiodes, array detectors;
  • System integration: Spectroscopy
  • Applications of spectroscopy in biology and medicine
  • Physiological Optics: eye structure, performance
  • Physiological Optics: vision mechanisms, image formation and perception
  • Image processing: modulation transfer function, transformation methods
  • Imaging: applications of image analysis and processing in biology and medicine
Class Schedule:

Meets for 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory each week for 10 weeks.

Computer Usage:

Simulation, modeling, and virtual instruments

Laboratory Projects:

Lab projects will complement lecture topics in microscopy, interferometry, spectroscopy, and diffuse optics.

Professional Component


Design Content Description


Laboratory Portion:
Grading Criteria:
  • Homework: 0%
  • Midterm: 25%
  • Group project: 25%
  • Lab: 25%
  • Final: 25%
  • Total: 100%
Estimated ABET Category Content:

Mathematics and Basic Science: 0.0 credit units

Computing: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Topics: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Science: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Design: 0.0 credit units

November 6, 2012
Senate Approved:
December 14, 2012
Approved Effective:
2013 Fall Qtr