Welcome to the Optical Biomedical Imaging Group at Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland.

Financial Support

Regional Operational Programme of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship


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Optical control and measurement of the properties of complex thermodynamic systems

Web-site of the project:


This project aims at performing fundamental studies on nanoparticles as efficient sensors. The project covers the aspects of nanoparticle-based systems like: synthesis, functionalization, monitoring, control of dynamics and the impact of environmental conditions on spectroscopic properties. In this research programme, we implement a multidisciplinary approach that integrates theoretical and experimental studies in state-of-the-art nanotechnology, optics and optical engineering. The studies are performed by a team formed by three research groups from the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Informatics at NCU: Optics and Hybrid Nanostructures Group, Optical Biomedical Imaging Group and Group of Optical Control and Metrology of Quantum Systems. The project will bring important scientific benefits in the form of understanding the mechanism of interaction of nanoparticles with the molecules of analyte. Moreover, the project provides the framework for the future technological development of efficient nanosensors.

Objective and specific aims:

The main goal of the project is to perform fundamental studies on manufacturing, visualization and control of the thermodynamic properties of nanoparticles as efficient biosensors. The project is composed of three complementary parts and includes the following specific aims:

  • Manufacturing of the metallic nanoparticles of well-controlled morphology and studies of their sensor functionality,
  • Development of optical methods for the control of the dynamics of nanoparticles and their interaction with analytes,
  • Determination of thermodynamic and spectroscopic properties of nanosystems with ultra-precise cavity ring-down spectroscopy.

Financial support:

The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the Regional Operational Programme for Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship for the years 2007-2013 and the national budget of Poland.

FNP Team


Novel optical techniques for enhanced structural, functional and dynamical imaging of anterior and posterior segments of the eye.


This program is a multidisciplinary effort which integrates fundamental studies, applied optics, new technology development, engineering and ophthalmology, giving perspective for practical use of obtained results in medical diagnostics and biology. The general scope of this proposal is related to thematic areas of Techno and Bio via the development of new optical technologies and by their potential applications to medical diagnostics. We assume that this particular project will enable to conduct research at the highest standards, giving significance and novel findings in fundamental optical studies, as well as in the field of applied optics and engineering, with further perspective for commercialization of obtained results. Research and engineering work of the project is conducted in 3 new laboratories of Optical Biomedical Imaging Group (OBIG – former Medical Physics Group) at Nicolaus Copernicus University (NCU), Toruń.


Objectives and specific aims

The project consists of two independent parts. The objective of the first part is to broaden knowledge about the dynamic optical processes in the human retina, especially these based on auto-fluorescence of retinal tissue, to develop novel ultrahigh resolution, optical imaging modality for visualization of morphology and function of the human retina. The objective of the second part of the project is to develop new, high performance imaging technology, that will have widespread research and clinical applications, to elucidate changes in morphology and biomechanical properties of the anterior segment of the human eye, and to develop and demonstrate new methods for visualization, mapping and morphometry, which can improve diagnostic sensitivity and the assessment of disease progression.


Financial Support

The project is financed by TEAM programme of The Foundation for Polish Science (FNP), which is an independent, self-financing, non-profit, non-governmental organization, with a mission of supporting science in Poland. It is the largest source of science funding in Poland outside the state budget

NCN Maestro


Focusing and imaging in scattering media by partial coherence interferometry and adaptive optics


In this fundamental research program we would like to solve one of the most basic problems of optics, which is related to imaging throughout highly scattering media. The objective of this project is to study the possibility of exploiting optical properties of turbid media to control the propagation of light and to obtain information about the structures located inside optically inhomogeneous objects. To ensure the right direction of this research with the prospect of far-reaching practical use of its results, we assume that it is necessary – although this project is purely fundamental in nature – to involve a multidisciplinary effort, which integrates knowledge of modern physics and optics along with skills and knowledge of applied sciences and optical engineering. For last ten years research experience of OBIG (former Medical Physics group) have been balancing between these areas, resulting in a contribution to the field of biomedical optical imaging by development of new imaging modalities based on light with partial coherence. We assume that the knowledge of modern optics along with skills associated with topographic, microscopic, spectroscopic and interferometric techniques will bring new quality to the research work related to the submitted proposal – the subject, which for a few years has became one of the major challenges in modern optics.

Objectives and specific aims

  1. Investigation of the possibility to control light propagation in strongly scattering medium by spatial/temporal phase modulation with partial coherence interferometry.
  2. Analysis of influence of static and dynamic phase modulation introduced by the scattering medium on tissue imaging.


Financial Support

The project is financed by MAESTRO programme of the National Science Centre. One of the priorities of the Centre is to support and develop the scientific careers of pre-doctoral and doctoral researchers starting their career in research (up to 5 years of experience since the PhD award). The Centre allocates more than 20% of its budget towards grants for this group of researchers.


3_logo 7PR PROPHET 3a_logo 7PR PROPHET 3b_logo 7PR PROPHET

Postgraduate Research on Photonics as an Enabling Technology (MC ITN 7FP EU)


PROPHET programme is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network. Photonics is an important enabling technology for a wide range of applications in diverse areas; the photonics industry in Europe accounted for revenues of €49 billion in 2006. The PROPHET network will train a cohort of 14 early stage researchers and 5 young experienced researchers in the full gamut of skills required for a career in photonics, including materials growth, device fabrication, characterisation, design, theory, and commercialisation. A carefully-chosen, well-balanced consortium of 9 academic partners, 4 industry partners and 2 associated partners are well placed to provide the training in these skills, with European and worldwide reputations as leaders in each field. These skills will be applied in four application areas; mode-locked lasers for Communications applications, solar cells for Energy applications, gas sensing for Environment applications, and fast tunable laser sources for OCT in Life Science applications. Each researcher will experience both academic and commercial environments thanks to the strong industrial involvement, resulting in multi-skilled, industry-focused graduates. PROPHET thus directly addresses the need for additional skilled photonics professionals, as identified by the European Technology Platform, Photonics21.

The PROPHET network will fund 14 Early Stage Researcher (Ph.D.) positions, and 5 young Experienced Researcher (postdoctoral) positions. These places offer an exceptional opportunity for young researchers to obtain a comprehensive training in photonics. The Marie Curie funding also includes a generous mobility and career exploration package. Hosted at a leading European research institute or industry partner, each Fellow will benefit from secondment visits to other network partners, and all Fellows will gain experience of working in industry. They will form the core of a vibrant, European-wide network of photonics researchers, with annual workshops, a summer school and a final project conference.

Objectives and specific aims

The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) hosted by NCU will develop new Optical Coherence Tomography instruments using rapidly tuned compact laser sources covering two spectral bandwiths, leveraging the expertise in OCT at NCU. OCT is an emerging new imaging technique, capable of high-resolution, 3-D imaging with a penetration depth of a few millimeters in biological tissue, which to date has been principally employed for retinal imaging of the eye.

The instruments developed by ESR will be designed to take full advantage of the new fast tunable laser sources developed in PROPHET. The ESR will work on systems for retinal imaging and anterior segment imaging, including the design of the optical scanning heads, programmable performance parameters, and dedicated data acquisition software.

The ESR will join the Optical Biomedical Imaging Group at Institute of Physics NCU ( and will be supervised by Dr. Maciej Wojtkowski. He/she will work closely with other PROPHET researchers at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork (Ireland) University of St. Andrews (UK), with secondment visits to these partners.

Financial Support

The project is funded by the EU Framework Programme 7, which aims to train the next generation of photonics researchers in the full range of skills required for a multi-disciplinary, industry-focused career in photonics.



Interferometric optical methods for analysis of dynamics of biological systems


This research project links biology, medicine, physics, engineering, optics and informatics to exploit potential of important Polish research groups. It is conducted by a consortium of five units:

  1. Optical Biomedical Imaging Group from Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun,
  2. Intelligent Decision Support Systems from Poznan University of Technology, Poznan,
  3. Laboratory of Molecular and Systemic Neuromorphology from Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw,
  4. Department of Embryology from University of Warsaw, Warsaw,
  5. Faculty of Neurology and Cerebrovascular Diseases from Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan.

Objectives and specific aims:

The aim of the project is to develop microscopy techniques dedicated to study dynamics of biological systems:

  1. microvessel network in the human eye,
  2. microvessel network and blood flow during stroke in animal models,
  3. flow of cytoplasm in mammalian ovules.

In all the three areas similar optical methods invented by Optical Biomedical Imaging Group NCU can be used. We will develop optical devices with optimized detection protocols and combine them with advanced numerical methods used by Intelligent Decision Support Systems PUT to create complete techniques for imaging dynamics of living tissues in humans and in animal models. Verification of usefulness of the techniques will be performed by NIEB, Department of Embryology UW and Faculty of Neurology and Cerebrovascular Diseases PUMS. The new technologies will be transferable to scientific institutions in the field of biology and medicine.


Financial Support:

The project is financed by National Centre for Research and Development grant within the Programme for Applied Research (grant number PBS1/A9/20/2013)

Krok w przyszłość


Spectroscopic methods of low coherence interference microscopy



Characterization of a tissue in terms of its chemical content is a task of the utmost importance in medicine and biology. Investigation of the spatial distribution of the specified substances within tissue volume not only delivers an additional factor for image contrast enhancement but also provides the functional information that helps to understand the dynamics of physiological processes. Research focused on retrieval of spatially resolved spectroscopic information with the use of optical methods have provided various solutions based on fluorescence confocal microscopy, Raman spectroscopy or scattering spectroscopy. Despite the valuable results obtained with the use of these techniques they are not free from shortcomings such as the need for use of high power of light due to the significant loss of photons in the detection path and the limitation on speed resulting from mechanical scanning in three dimensions and acquisition in the spectral domain. Here, optical coherence interferometric techniques show their abilities to overcome these problems providing coherence gating to effectively resolve spatially the spectral data. The proper arrangement of the measurement setup and the use of adequate method of data analysis is believed to assure the spectroscopic data of the quality high enough to make the diagnostic inference possible.


Objectives and specific aims:

  1. Evaluation of the proposed technique in the series of experiments on the broad class of scattering and absorbing phantoms of the tissues, eg. blood; determination of the scope of applicability of the method to qualitative and quantitative spectroscopic analyses of biological and medical objects.
  2. Application of the method to real objects such as blood vessels in human retina and skin to characterize it spectroscopically (investigation of the properties such as oxygenation level or hematocrit).


Financial Support:

The research is financed from European Social Fund and Polish Government within the Integrated Regional Development Operational Programme. The project – Step in the future – is a scholarship programme dedicated for PhD students and it is administrated by the Bureau of the Marshal of Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship