Outreach activities of the Medical Optics group


FireRecerca 2013About: We love to tell the general public, younger students,industries, healthcare professionals and, really, anyone interested about our research. As you will discover here, we work within the ICFO outreach program (http://outreach.icfo.eu) to host visitors, student projects, to deliver lectures and demonstrations and to author articles.

Summer fellows:

  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery year , particularly in summer (but not limited to) we host university students as summer fellows in our group. The students are embedded into our research activities and work with other group members on various projects. 
  • As of November 2013, we have had undergraduates Francesc Espasa , Behrooz Hashemian , Ivan Garcia, Candan Aydin, Aleksandra Aloric , Elif Demiryas , Ane Etxebeste, Ignasi Jorba Masdeu, Pau Buch Cardona , Nuray Aysan , Pau Bramon Mora and Ignacio Sarasúa participate in various projects with our group.
  • These students get exposure to medical optics, work with graduate students, post-docs as well as our collaborators such as the clinicians and biologists in nearby institutes. Some of their work has led to conference presentations (e.g. Pau Buch Cardona) and peer-reviewed papers are being prepared (Pau Buch Cardona, Pau Bramon Mora, Ivan Garcia).
  • It is part of the ICFO outreach program “Young Minds”: http://www.icfo.eu/training/young_minds.php

Summer project: Learning optical tomography using the LEGO Mindstorms systems 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis project supported by CatalunyaCaixa E2C3 Program allowed Nicolas Mateos , a high school student (at the time), to work with post-docs in the medical optics group to develop a low cost system that could be used to illustrate concepts of diffuse optical tomography (DOT) for the classroom. The exercise teaches students not only the basics of light propagation in tissues, simple tomographic methods for medicine but also important skills such as instrument control, basic opto-electronics and data analysis tips & tricks.


This work was published in a peer-reviewed manuscript:

Low-cost diffuse optical tomography for the classroom“, T. Minagawa,
P. Zirak, U. M. Weigel, A. K. Kristoffersen, N. Mateos, A. Valencia,
T. Durduran Am. J. Phys. 80, 876-881 (2012)

Video summary:

Link to the journal


Poster presented OSA Biomedical Topicals 2012

News coverage:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe set-up and the project was recently adapted by a group in Dipartimento Di Fisica, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy and was used for their teaching.We will host updates to this project materials and we welcome anyone who wants to use this system (or develop it further) to contact us.Non-contact optical monitors for the home using open-source hardware & software

Ongoing project: Open-source baby monitor

As part of ICFO’s “Lifelong Learning Program” an Educational Research Project to develop a low-cost, open source system that uses light to remotely monitor baby arterial oxygenation and heart-beat is being developed. This system has applications in prevention of problems such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Students: Montserrat Anglès, Júlia Carbonell, Marc Salvadó, and Ignacio Sarasúa.

Teachers: Antonio Cavero, José Luis Tourón, both members of ICFO’s Educators Advisory Team. ICFO 

Researchers: Prof. Turgut Durduran, Claus Lindner, Claudia Valdés).

Further details will be added soon.



 A running summary of our outreach activities


  • Description: We love to participate in ICFO outreach activities and sometimes do it as a group or as individuals. Below is a running list of activities that we have participated in to give a flavor. of the type of actions that we take.

For more information see ICFO’s main outreach homepage at: http://outreach.icfo.eu/

Guided visits to laboratories for high school students

  • We welcome high school students to our laboratories usually in three groups of fifteen where we deliver interactive demonstrations on “Medical Optics”. This activity happens throughout the year. Graduate students (e.g. Claudia Valdés and Claus Lindler) have been leading this activity.

For more information about this activity see:

[English] http://outreach.icfo.eu/students/secondary-schools/what-happening/5/visits
[Spanish] http://outreach.icfo.eu/students/secondary-schools/es_what-happening/5/visitas


Dia de la luz (“The day of light”) at ICFO

  • This is an activity lead by our Knowledge and Technology Transfer unit as well as the local ICONS student chapter.
  • Three days activities to show high school students basic experiments on optics (3 modules: reflection and refraction, polarization and light for energy). Medical Optics members (e.g. Claudia Valdés) participate as demonstrators. For more information about this activity see:

[English] http://outreach.icfo.eu/students/secondary-schools/what-happening/6/the-day-of-the-light
[Spanish] http://outreach.icfo.eu/students/secondary-schools/es_what-happening/6/el-dia-de-la-luz


Proyecto Marte XXI, UPC-PMT, April-May, 2012

This was a collaborative project with UPC in which ICFO was involved in how light could be used for diagnosis and the treatment of diseases in possible travels and life in
Mars. Medical optics group graduate student, Claudia Valdés, has worked with two groups of five people in five sessions.

Feste de la Ciéncia, Ajuntament de Barcelona, June 16-17, 2012

  • Activity done in the Parc de la Ciutadella, to share science with people from all ages. It was like show/presentation to reach the public in a better way. Medical Optics graduate student, Claudia Valdés, was involved in two of the six presentations we have there. At least thirty. people participated on each presentation.


Barcelona’s Science Week, ICFO, November 2012

  • ICFO-KTT has participated in Barcelona Science week. Four schools came to visit ICFO in three experimental modules. A Medical Optics group graduate student, Claudia Valdés, was with one of the schools with thirty people.

Fira de Recerca en Directe, La Pedrera, Barcelona, April 23-25, 2013 (8 hours each day)

  • Approximately 750 people has participated in this activity open primarily to high school students. The last two hours of each day was open to the general public. The Medical Optics group represented by graduate students Claudia Valdés and Claus Lindler as well our research engineer Francisco Remiro has had a booth on medical optics. We have explained the basics of diffuse optics and how can we used it to get information from our bodies, in that particular occasion, how can we know if we are training our muscles correctly. We had a running demonstration with one of our portable neuro-monitors based on diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS). Here is live video from one of the demonstrations (in Spanish):


Festa de la Ciència, Ajuntament de Barcelona, June 15, 2013

  • Activity done in the Parc de la Ciutadella. ICFO-KTT has presented diffuse optics (Miriam Martí) and Medical Optics group member Claudia Valdés has carried out basic experiments as a demonstration.


Exploradors de la llum in CosmoCaixa, 5/12/2012/

  • Medical Optics group graduate student Claus Lindler answered questions from the audience on diffuse optics.