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Bioengineering Seminar Series: Jessica Ramella-Roman
Friday, February 25, 2011
11:00 a.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
For More Information:
Professor Yu Chen

Novel Approaches in Spectro-Polarimetry of Biological Tissue

Presented by Jessica Ramella-Roman
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Catholic University
Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Spectroscopoic polarized light imaging (SPLI) and sensing can be useful in assessing tissue chromophores and structural components. Ultimately this technique can help in developing minimally invasive optical technologies for the diagnosis of disease.

In this talk we will review the theoretical framework of polarized light transfer into biological media and we will introduce several clinical applications of SPLI that are being conducted at the Washington Hospital, and Johns Hopkins University medical centers.

Polarized light imaging is being used to enhance the border of certain skin cancers, by focusing on photons that are superficially scattered while eliminating those that are diffused deeper in the tissue. It is also being used to extrapolate information about the roughness of skin structure as a way of distinguishing pigmented lesions from melanoic ones. Furthermore SPLI is being applied to the field of cosmetic treatment where it is used to characterize wrinkles, skin textures, and scars of various age groups.

Since polarized light imaging is particularly sensitive to capillary vasculature, we are also using SPLI to identify individuals with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), an autosomal dominant disease characterized by hundreds of colorectal adenomas. Based on the calculation of achieved vascular density, our spectropolarimetric methodology provides a sensitivity and a specificity above 90%.

About the Speaker
Jessica C. Ramella-Roman received an Electrical Engineering degree (Laurea) from the University of Pavia, Italy in 1993 and worked for five years in the semiconductor industry. She returned to academia in 1999 to pursue a Ph.D in bio-optics with Dr. Steve Jacques at the Oregon Medical Laser Center in Portland, Oregon. She received a Masters and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Oregon Health Science University in Portland, Oregon in 2004. During her Ph.D she developed a camera to detect skin cancer borders; she also developed computational models of polarized light transfer into scattering media.

As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University from 2004 to 2005, she developed models that described light scattering from rough surfaces. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The Catholic University of America, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and a Senior Research Scientist at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. Her current research interests include using spectroscopic methodologies to measure skin and retinal oxygenation, designing fiber-optic probes for biomedical applications, and investigating polarized light transport into various biological environments.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs

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