Entry Date:
September 28, 2002

Laser Biomedical Research Center (LBRC)

Co-investigators Robert Field , Moungi Bawendi , Stephen Lippard , Oliver Thomas Bruns

Project Website http://lbrc.mit.edu/

Project Start Date June 1997

Project End Date
 May 2014

The Laser Biomedical Research Center was established in October 1985 as a National Research Resource Center in laser biomedicine under support of the Biomedical Research Technology Program and since 2012 under support of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, a Biomedical Technology Resource Center of the National Institutes of Health. The LBRC’s mission is to develop the basic scientific understanding and new techniques required for advancing the clinical applications of lasers and spectroscopy.

Researchers use the LBRC’s resources to exploit laser-based spectroscopic techniques for medical applications such as the spectral diagnosis of disease, investigation of biophysical and biochemical properties of cells and tissues and development of novel imaging techniques. A unique feature of the LBRC is its ability to form strong clinical collaborations with outside investigators in areas of common interest that further the Center’s mandated research objectives. For example, ongoing clinical collaborations are using spectroscopic instruments developed at the Center to diagnosis pre-cancer in various organs.

As a NIBIB-Supported Biomedical Technology Resource Center, the LBRC makes available its facilities, along with technical and scientific support, to outside researchers for the purpose of pursuing independent research projects in the area of laser biomedical applications. The facilities are available on a time-shared basis, free-of-cost policy to qualified scientists, engineers and physicians throughout the United States. For additional information, please read the Guidelines for Use of LBRC Facilities.

The technology research and development (TRD) program of LBRC has evolved over the past 25 years in line with the research focus of investigators leading the center. Currently, the three main technology research areas and their lead investigators are the following:

(1) Fluorescence instrumentation (So) and probes (Bawendi),
(2) Phase-resolved spectroscopy and imaging (Yaqoob & So), and
(3) Raman spectroscopy (Dasari).

The direction of the TRDs are partly motivated by biomedical research needs of our collaborators. Conversely, the successful development of these photonics technologies also leads to new biomedical research directions for our collaborators. Importantly, many of these photonic technology developments are “general” and can be applied broadly in many biomedical research fields. We also see that the development activities within these TRDs are synergistic, such that “the sum is greater the parts.”

LBRC welcomes collaborators throughout the United States and world-wide. LBRC especially values collaborations with potential of improving patient diagnosis and treatment, discovering new pharmaceuticals, and elucidating fundamental biological mechanisms. LBRC invites collaborators with challenging research problems that can be addressed by our photonics expertise. For some projects, our broad range of expertise in fluorescence, phase, and vibronic spectroscopy and imaging, can provide valuable complementary information.

LBRC also has many unique in-house instruments that are available for use by biomedical researchers. Our researchers regularly disseminate technologies created within LBRC via publishing in peer-reviewed journals, sharing instrument hardware schematics or software algorithms, training individual visitors, or building and shipping photonics instruments to collaborators’ laboratories. While LBRC would like to work with as many biomedical researchers as possible, unfortunately our resources, especially manpower, are limited. On a bi-annual basis, LBRC lead investigators, jointly with our external advisory panel, will select new collaborations that would best advance our mission. If you are interested in working with us, please fill out a brief collaboration request form and our researchers will contact you within a week.