Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


DOTHUB researchers present wearable diffuse optical tomography results at ECBO 2019

4 October 2019

Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering researcher and final-year Master's student Aman Ganglani reports his experience attending and presenting new data at an international conference earlier this year.

DOTHUB at ECBO presentation

This year, the team behind DOTHUB — one of the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering’s core research groups — attended the annual European Conferences on Biomedical Optics (ECBO) conference held 23–27 June 2019 at the International Congress Centre (ICM) in Munich, Germany.

ECBO is a part of a series of conferences run by the International Society for Optics and Photonics which featured a massive range of non-medical topics such as optical metrology and emerging laser technology. This year, speakers also included the 2018 Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Gerard Mourou, for his work on high intensity laser pulses. In addition to all these phenomenal talks, ECBO also hosted a massive trade conference to show off the latest developments in commercial photonics.

Over the past three years at UCL, I’ve been fortunate enough to win research scholarships every summer within the Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering department, which have all been related to diffuse optical tomography (DOT). Over the past year I’ve joined DOTHUB, an optical research group led by Dr Robert Cooper. Having worked under him for three years, it’s been an absolute honour to formally join the research group.

During my research scholarship last year, I set out to investigate imaging the brains of sick neonates using wearable DOT devices. Specifically, I focused my research on the impact of motion artifacts with wearable DOT fibres. As a short summery, I designed and ran my own experiments on healthy adult volunteers, which looked at inducing motion artifacts while they completed a short series of tasks. I was able to programme my own motion sensors and integrate them with an existing wearable DOT research device. More of what I managed to accomplish over last summer is available here.

Over the academic year I’ve worked with DOTHUB part time outside of my degree to develop our motion artifact investigation and collect more data by inviting more participants. After writing a research paper titled “Integrating motion sensing and wearable, modular high-density diffuse optical tomography: preliminary results”, it was accepted by the peer-reviewed process, and we were invited to present our work at ECBO.


Aman Ganglani at ECBO conference

After arriving in Munich on 22June, we set out to the ICM to attend the first talk. The biomedical optics-focused conference was further split into different topics. We attended and presented sessions on Diffuse Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging. All our collective work as a research group was presented on the first day.

Along with the rest of the work done by DOTHUB, the motion artifact investigation which I worked on was presented to world-leading DOT experts. We presented the aims, methods and findings to our audience. Our talk was received very well, being one of the only research groups in the world advancing wearable DOT, we were in the unique position of being the only group to combine motion sensors with fibreless DOT. Following the presentation, we opened the floor up to questions where we were able to gain a broad range of ideas for future investigations. It was incredibly humbling to see other scientists take a keen interest in our work and provide us with their valuable insights.

In addition to our presentation, we stayed for all the sessions during the week belonging to the DOT series of conferences. Being able to attend this conference has opened my eyes to the massive variety of work which takes place within the DOT field. I will be working with Dr Cooper during my final year project where I hope to make significant contributions to the field. I’d like to thank the Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering department for all their support, and for making all this possible.

DOTHUB group at ECBO