Biophotonics research


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The Biophotonics Research Unit's goals are to pioneer the field of novel optical diagnostics within the clinical environment.

The Biophotonics Research Unit

We lead research into vibrational spectroscopy (Raman and FT-IR), diagnostics for in vivo and in vitro discrimination of early cancers, degenerative diseases and local and systemic disease studies in body fluids.

We also work in the following areas:

  • mid-IR hyperspectral imaging of tissues for pathological diagnostics and biochemical analysis
  • optical coherence tomography for real-time surgical targeting of disease and biopsy selection
  • photodynamic therapy for early cancers and dysplasia
  • volatile analysis techniques for detection of infections.

Professor Hugh Barr and his team were shortlisted for again for the BMJ Awards Cancer Care Team category 2017.

Current projects

GALAHAD (Glaucoma – Advanced, LAbel-free High resolution Automated OCT Diagnostics)

GALAHAD is a project funded by the EC through Horizon 2020. Its primary objective is to improve screening and basic diagnostics for glaucoma, which is a major cause of blindness throughout the world. The project brings together ten partners: four industrial, three academic, two clinical and one management

RaPIDE (RAman Probe for In vivo Diagnostics (during oesophageal) Endoscopy)

RaPIDE seeks to develop a miniaturised probe that slides down the working channel of an endoscope, to diagnose oesophageal cancer using Raman spectroscopy without the need for an invasive, expensive and distressing biopsy.

The project is a collaboration between The Biophotonics Research Unit and Biomedical Spectroscopy Group at The University of Exeter, and Interface Analysis Centre at The University of Bristol.

Contact us

To contact the team, email:

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