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National Research Resource Center
National Center for Research Resources

National Institute of Health
National Institutes
of Health


Laser Biomedical Research Center (LBRC)

The Laser Biomedical Research Center was established in October 1985 as a National Research Resource Center in laser biomedicine with the support of the Biomedical Research Technology Program of the National Institutes of Health and directed by the late Professor Michael S. Feld. Professor Peter T. C. So is the principal investigator whereas Professor Moungi G. Bawendi and Dr. Ramachandra R. Dasari are the co investigators.

The LBRC’s mission is to develop the basic scientific understanding and new techniques required for advancing the clinical applications of lasers and spectroscopy. Historically, the first clinical application of spectroscopy explored at the LBRC was laser therapy of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD). Efforts to develop a smart catheter for spectroscopy-guided laser ablation of coronary plaque led to development of an LBRC program for real time in vivo spectroscopic disease diagnosis. This program began with efforts to diagnose atherosclerosis, lately with a focus on vulnerable plaque, and then expanded to the diagnosis of cancer and pre-cancer. Some of the other major achievements of the Center include:

  • Identification of fluorophores such as elastin, collegen, NADH, etc. for in-vivo quantitative tissue diagnostics
  • Early stage cancer detection in breast, oral cavity, and cervix using Raman spectroscopy
  • Transcoutaneous real-time glucose detection using Raman spectroscopy.
  • Development of portable clinical diagnostic instruments based on fluorescence, Raman, and diffused reflectance techniques
  • Structural and functional changes in human red blood cells during malaria infection using quantitative phase microscopy
  • 3-D structural imaging of live cells using tomographic phase microscopy

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. As a National Research 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.