Course syllabus

Medicinsk optik
Medical Optics

FAFN35, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2017/18
Decided by: PLED F/Pi
Date of Decision: 2017-04-06

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 course aims to  to provide the students with fundamental knowledge related to the propagation of light through highly scattering and absorbing media, such as biomedical tissues and blood samples. This knowledge is central for the development of a large number of clinical diagnostic tools as well as for the application of laser based treatment modalities.

Biomedical optics and imaging is a rapidly developing field of research which has undergone large progress over the two past decades thanks to the continuous advancement of camera sensors, illumination sources, and computational light propagation models. The medical industry continuously requires qualified personnel within this field.

The course is supposed to stimulate interest in optical diagnostics problems and solutions within the fields of medicine, life-science, and other related areas.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must



The course is oriented towards a final project where a specific task related to light propagation in scattering media and its applications in medicine and the life sciences will be assigned. In addition to the lectures, the required background knowledge to successfully perform the project will be provided through laboratory and computer simulation exercises.

The course introduces and discusses a number of medical laser applications. Light propagation in highly scattering media is presented theoretically, and different analytical and numerical methods to treat light propagation problems in scattering media are discussed. Emphasis will be put on the Monte-Carlo technique, which is a robust and versatile approach to treat photon transport through scattering and absorbing media. Many therapeutical laser treatment strategies are based on thermal effects resulting from laser illumination. Therefore, heat diffusion will be discussed as well.

Two different laboratory exercises are focusing on the measurement of the optical properties of scattering and absorbing materials. Computational modeling will be done during some exercises partially based on an online Monte Carlo software. Finally, the course ends with a project.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
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, laboratory exercises and computer exercises are compulsory.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.


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.
The course overlaps following course/s: FAF150

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Cord Arnold,
Course homepage: