The group 'Multimodal Instrumentation' focuses on research and development of novel application-oriented optical tools, and fiber-optic probes for basic research, medical ex-vivo and in vivo diagnostics, as well as for industrial process analysis. The research covers a range of spectroscopic, fluorescence-based, and interferometric techniques. Currently, devices and fiber optic probes are being developed for clinical use, specifically for the diagnosis and therapy monitoring of cancer and atherosclerosis.
Optical methods allow the investigation of a large variety of sample properties and parameters, including morphology, the qualitative and quantitative chemical composition, or distribution of macromolecular compounds in the sample. Because methods, such as Raman spectroscopy or optical coherence tomography (OCT) are non-destructive, they are of great interest for a wide range of disease-types and the discrimination of healthy and diseased tissue. Besides in the medical field, optical methods can find applications in industrial processing, in pharmaceutical analysis, and food monitoring. Because a single optical method provides only a narrow range of information it is often necessary to combine multiple optical measurement modalities in order to obtain a more complete picture of the sample. For example, Raman or fluorescence-based methods can provide information about the chemical composition of a sample, while OCT provides purely morphological data. These very different properties in terms of information content, speed and measurement volume have led in recent years to an increase in "multimodal measurement techniques" for a variety of applications. Every possible combination requires an in-depth knowledge of the methods and a sophisticated device adaptation, which often relies on opposite requirements.
Furthermore, the group 'Multimodal Instrumentation' is also exploring and developing novel high-throughput Raman devices for rapid single cells and tissue analysis. This research is aiming at improving the acquisition speeds of current devices by removing the human factor from the acquisition procedure and directly applying multivariate statistical methods during the acquisition, which allows the investigation and monitor of experiments rapidly and in a time-dependent fashion.