“Laser Focus on Women’s Health”
Hosted by the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME)
Faculty host: Lori Setton (WashU BME)
Abstract: A number of women’s health diseases ranging from pregnancy complications to cancer do not have sufficient early detection and prevention strategies, resulting in poor outcomes which are often exacerbated by socioeconomic status and race. Furthermore, many aspects of women’s health physiology and disease are poorly understood and difficult to investigate, such as the delicate state of pregnancy. Research in pregnant women is particularly challenging in part because several conventional biomedical research methods such as biopsy, injection with contrast agents or investigational therapies, and imaging or treatment using ionizing radiation must be avoided or minimized due to associated risks. In contrast, optical technologies are well suited to fill gaps in women’s healthcare. Light-based technologies can be specifically designed for use at the point of care, be non-contact and reusable, provide real-time results, generate label-free or exogenous molecular contrast, and have significantly lower costs than most non-optical modalities. These characteristics make them optimal for investigating women’s health and developing and expanding health care tools to underserved communities where disparities in health are greatest. Successful applications of optical technologies that are furthering our understanding of pregnancy, labor, and preterm labor, and expanding access to and improving performance of breast cancer surgery will be presented. These examples will showcase the vast opportunities available for optical technologies to make an impact on women’s health around the globe.
Full list, WashU Biomedical Engineering (BME) seminars
For inquiries contact Mimi Hilburg.