C&CB Seminar – Prof. Ozzy Mermut
Feb 6, 2020
1:30PM to 2:30PM
Date(s) - 06/02/2020
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
TITLE: Biophotonic therapies anddosimetry for the aging and diseased eye.
Date: Thursday, February 7, 2020
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Place: ABB 165
Host: Dr. Kalai Saravanamuttu
Our aim is to conceive opticalapproaches to study mechanisms of pathogenesis in the aging eye as well asdevelop new photonic based therapies of diseases. Using Vis-NIR non-ionizingradiation we examine structural and functional behavior of aging tissues toestablish pre-diagnostic retinal biomarkers. Developing new instrumentation intime-resolved fluorescence imaging, NIR spectroscopy, and optical coherencetomography (OCT), our goal is to determine optical signatures, at early stage,of age-related biosensory disorders, including macular degeneration. Drusenlipoproteins deposits in Bruch’s membrane, and oxidative lipofuscin pigmentsare potential biomarkers of early retinal diseases, and suitable candidates foroptical identification and quantification of disease progression. In diagnosedcases, phototreatment of visual disease requires new laser approaches forselective tuning of light-matter interactions in the 11-layer retinal matrix toaffect only desired spatial targets. Here we explore how laser energy rate canbe modulated as an avenue for optimizing laser phototherapy by reducingcollateral damage to healthy retinal tissue. Current phototreatments havelimited mitigation of laser effects in adjacent photoreceptors and choroidvessels and impart significant damage to healthy cells because of thermaldiffusion. Controlling the laser energy deposition rate, our goal is tospatially confine the phototherapy to only target cells through aphotodisruption mechanism. A photoacoustic technique is presented as apotential high SNR dosimeter approach to selective retinal therapy. Lastly, we discuss NIR fluorescence lifetime for longitudinal monitoring ofchoroidal vessel properties and their chemical microenvironment post treatmentin order to assess long term efficacy of new phototherapies for visualdysfunctions.
Ozzy Mermut is a new facultymember at York University, Dept Physics and Astronomy whose expertise is inbiophotonics, a field converging discoveries in photonics with applications inbiomedical science. Mermut did her undergraduate at McGill University and herpost doctorate at University of California Berkeley. She has over 20 peerreviewed publications in the biophotonics field and 10 USPTO/PCT patents. Herprevious industrial research contributions at Hyperchip Inc. and the NationalOptics Institute, include spearheading over 50 industry-lead R&Dbiophotonics projects, enabling bench-to-bedside translation through scientificinnovations, technologies and medical device prototypes. Mermut is alsointerested in creating remotely deployable biophysical sensors for applicationsof human health in space. She was responsible for developing Microflow, a lab-in-a-fibreoptic technology for immunophenotyping blood of astronauts in theInternational Space Station.