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Chair of Optics and Biophotonics

The Saratov State University is one of the largest educational, scientific and cultural centers in Russia with many departments and research laboratory facilities supporting education and research in biophysics, medical and biochemical physics, biomedical optics and biophotonics, nanotechnologies, computer science, nonlinear processes, and materials science & bioengineering. The University campus is shared with Saratov State Medical University, which is affiliated with specialized clinics and hosts clinical research and investigation.

R&D in Photonics and Biophotonics as well as educational programs are concentrated in two major SSU divisions: Chair of Optics and Biophotonics (COBP) and Research-Educational Institute of Optics and Biophotonics (REIOB). Around 60 research and faculty members of these two divisions are involved in photonics and biophotonics studies and education, including 10 full professors and 30 PhD and MD. Two student Chapters of SPIE and OSA are well operating on the basis of COBP and REIOB.

COBP has a 63-year history. One of the first books on laser physics was published in 1964 by faculty members. The COBP’s faculty is well-known in the world due to numerous publications in international journals and a number of issued monographs, tutorials and handbooks on tissue optics and biophotonics. COBP provides bachelor, MS, and candidate of science (PhD) educational programs in Physics, Biochemical Physics, Medical Physics, Physics of Optical Phenomena, Biophysics, Optics, and Laser Physics (see “Chernyshevsky Saratov State University” in Optical Education, International Directory of Programs in Optics, SPIE & OSA, 2008; www.opticseducation.org).

REIOB was founded in 2004 to provide integration of research-educational programs of SSU into the global system of education and science in the field of optics, biomedical optics, and biophotonics, including basic and applied science and commercialization of the basic R&D. The institute consists of the following laboratories: Biophotonics, Optics of Dispersive Media, Optical Medical Diagnostics, Spectroscopy, Biomedical Optics, and Photonic Crystal Fibers and Biosensors with the following major scientific directions: optics and spectroscopy of dispersive media; physics of optical measurements; laser and fiber-optic physics and technology; complex dynamics of optical systems and fractal optics; holographic measurements; interaction of laser and optical radiation with biological tissues and cells; complex dynamics and fluctuations in biomedical photonics; biophysical grounds of optical medical diagnostics and therapy; coherence and polarization-sensitive medical tomography; medical lasers, fiber-optical, photonic crystal fiber and light diode systems and sensors.

REIOB and COBP have well-developed national and international links with more than 60 leading research and educational centers in optics and biophotonics. Collaborative projects include R&D, publication of monographs, tutorials, handbooks, conference proceedings, and special issues of journals, organization of conferences and short courses sessions for postgraduate students, engineers, and medical doctors.

In 2007 on the basis of REIOB and COBP and in the framework of Russian Federation Program “Innovative Universities” the International Research-Educational Center on Optical Technologies in Industry and Medicine was created.

SSU BP group is one of the pioneers in the field of combined reflectance/fluorescence spectroscopy of various tissues, in particular human skin (see Handbook of Optical Biomedical Diagnostics, V.V. Tuchin (ed.), SPIE Press, Bellingham, WA, 2002). SSU BP group pioneered also the field of controlling of tissue optical properties using tissue impregnation by biocompatible optical clearing agents. Technologies of measurements and extraction of optical parameters of soft and hard tissues were designed by this group and many new and updated data for skin, fat, bone, mucous and some other tissues are summarized in the monograph (V.V. Tuchin, Tissue Optics: Light Scattering Methods and Instruments for Medical Diagnosis, 2nd ed., SPIE Press, Bellingham, WA, 2007). In collaboration with “Nanostructured Glass Technology,” Ltd. (Saratov, Russia) SSU developed a polycapillary glass technology for producing of optical elements, including production of X-ray lenses, holey optical fibers, photonic crystal fibers, and substrates for biochips. The BP group also has a prolonged experience in designing and manufacturing of optical instrumentation for quantification of skin optical properties and color Together with the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants and Microorganisms RAS some pioneer results on designing of gold nanoparticle technology and their application to photothermal therapy and labeling and detection of blood components in circulating blood in vivo have been generated. Recently this group was among the first groups which provided gold nanoparticle trapping and imaging.

In the last 13 years SSU holds the Annual Multidisciplinary International School for Junior Scientists and Students on Optics, Laser Physics & Biophotonics (Saratov Fall Meeting – SFM) in Saratov, Russia In the framework of this School a new Workshop on Internet Biophotonics was recently established. SSU BP group is a partner of the Center of Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) and the Canadian Institute for Photonics Innovation (CIPI).