University Hospital Zürich

University Hospital Zürich

The Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory (BORL) at the Division of Neonatology, Department of Gynecology, University Hospital Zurich is focused on the development of diagnostic tools using light and their application in research and clinics. The wide field of expertise and research includes:

  1. Quantitative near-infrared spectrophotometry (NIRS) and imaging (NIRI), a non-invasive, continuous technique at the bedside, which uses light to analyze tissue. BORL was among the first few groups in this field. The expertise includes the development of instrumentation (sensors, driving electronics, frequency domain and continuous wave systems, imagers), software (real time drivers, graphic user interfaces, and post-processing tools) and algorithms (biomedical signal analysis, image reconstruction). BORL successfully invented, developed and clinically applied innovative optical technology to study brain oxygenation, perfusion and function.
  2. The development of wireless NIRS systems, where BORL is one of the leading laboratories in the world.
  3. The development of a new transcutaneous sensor technology based on smart materials.
  4. Clinical testing and research, such as the assessment of muscle and brain function, perfusion and oxygenation and the measurement of tissue composition. One key application is the functional investigation of the brain. The aim is to develop a method to assess the functional severity of brain lesions in neonatal or adult intensive care patients at the bedside. Brain activity can be observed non-invasively through the intact skull using light. We are using imaging techniques, which allow an online assessment of a whole region of the brain. Generally the range of NIRS and NIRI applications is broad.

The BORL team is strongly interdisciplinary including co-workers with medical, physics and engineering background. BORL has many collaborations with other clinics, such as the Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Neurology, Clinic of Pneumonology, Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center, Institute of Medical Genetics, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Child Development Center, Division of Gynecology and the Child Rehabilitation Center. It is member of the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), the Center for Clinical Research and the Neuroscience Center Zurich. The Division of Neonatology is part of the Perinatal Center Zurich and treats 2500 neonates per year, which includes 724 stationary patients and 118 extremely preterm infants. The Neonatology runs one of the few intensive care units for neonates in Switzerland.


Clinic of Neonatology
University Hospital Zurich
Frauenklinikstr. 10
8091 Zürich



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