Course syllabus

Medicinsk optik
Medical Optics

FAF150, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2016/17
Decided by: Education Board B
Date of Decision: 2016-03-29

General Information

Elective for: BME4-bf, D4, E4-mt, F4, F4-f, F4-mt, N4, Pi4
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English


The aim with the course is to give the student knowledge of the interaction between light and highly scattering media, such as e.g. tissue. This knowledge is central for a large number of clinical diagnostic tools as well as laser based treatment modalities. Biomedical optics is a fast developing field of research and the medical industry will require people with this knowledge in the near future.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

be able to explain basic interactions between light and tissue

be able to explain how optical properties of highly scattering media can be measured

be able to describe how light propagation in tissue can be simulated

be able to in depth describe an example of use of optics/lasers ain biomedical applications

be able to briefly describe other therapeutic and diagnostic medical laser applications

be able to explain the basic principles for therapeutic and diagnostic applications of lasers in medicine

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

be able to measure optical properties of tissue

be able to model light propagation in tissue

have gained competence in composing a report describing an accomplished project, with emphasis on a thorough analysis of published data and own results

be able to integrate and analyse information from multiple sources

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must

be able to choose and motivate a modelling approach for light propagation in a turbid medium under specific conditions

be able to choose and motivate a suitable measurement technique to obtain optical properties of tissue depending on tissue type and condition, wavelength and geometry

be able to evaluate what the critical laser parameters are for a specific medical laser application

be able to find relevant information on the internet and in libraries

have gained an interest for challenges in biophotonics and medical laser applications, especially for problems related to light propagation in turbid media.


Medical applications of lasers. Theory: light propagation in strongly scattering media, analytical and numerical solution of diffusion equations, Monte Carlo simulations, heat transfer equations. Measurements of the properties of strongly diffusive media, temperature distribution in tissue following laser irradiation. Mathematical modelling of light and heat distribution in tissue.

Lectures: light transport in tissue, optical properties of tissue, laser based medical applications

Laboratory exercises: time-resolved spectroscopy and fluorescence imaging

Computer exercises: Diffusion theory, Monte-Carlo simulations and FemLab as a simulation tool

Examination details

Grading scale: TH
Assessment: For grade 3 approved project and exercises are sufficient. The project is performed in groups of two students. The project is presented both orally and as a written report. For higher grades a written examination is required. A well performed project can give bonus points at the first regular examination. The project, two laboratory exercises and three computer exercises are compulsory.


Required prior knowledge: Knowledge of physics corresponding to a basic course in Physics at university level; Knowledge of mathematics equivalent to FMAF01 Mathematics - Analytic Functions and FMAF05 Mathematics - Systems and Transforms.
The number of participants is limited to: 40
Selection: Credits awarded or credited within the study programme.

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Stefan Andersson-Engels,
Teacher: Johan Axelsson,
Course homepage: