Jennifer Kehlet Barton
Director, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Agricultural-Biosystems Engineering
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor, Medical Imaging
Professor, Optical Sciences
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-0314
Work Summary
I develop new optical imaging devices that can detect cancer at the earliest stage. Optics has the resolution and sensitivity to find these small, curable lesions, and we design the endoscope that provide access to organs inside the body. .
Research Interest
Jennifer Barton, Ph.D. is known for her development of miniature endoscopes that combine multiple optical imaging techniques,particularly optical coherence tomography and fluorescence spectroscopy. She evaluates the suitability of these endoscopic techniques for detecting early cancer development in patients and pre-clinical models. She has a particular interest in the early detection of ovarian cancer, the most deadly gynecological malignancy. Additionally, her research into light-tissue interaction and dynamic optical properties of blood laid the groundwork for a novel therapeutic laser to treat disorders of the skin’s blood vessels. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal papers in these research areas. She is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Optical Sciences, Agriculture-Biosystems Engineering, and Medical Imaging at the University of Arizona. She has served as department head of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Vice President for Research, and is currently Director of the BIO5 Institute, a collaborative research institute dedicated to solving complex biology-based problems affecting humanity. She is a fellow of SPIE – the International Optics Society, and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Keywords: bioimaging, biomedical optics, biomedical engineering, bioengineering, cancer, endoscopes


Black, J., Tate, T., Keenan, M., Swan, E., Utzinger, U., & Barton, J. (2015). A Six-Color Four-Laser Mobile Platform for Multi-Spectral Fluorescence Imaging Endoscopy. 2015 CONFERENCE ON LASERS AND ELECTRO-OPTICS (CLEO).
Winkler, A. M., Bonnema, G. T., & Barton, J. K. (2010). New Scheme for Polarimetric Glucose Sensing without Polarizers. OPTICAL DIAGNOSTICS AND SENSING X: TOWARD POINT-OF-CARE DIAGNOSTICS, 7572.
Keenan, M., Howard, C., Tate, T., McGuiness, I., Sauer-Budge, A., Black, J., Utzinger, U., & Barton, J. K. (2016). Design of an everting balloon to deploy a microendoscope to the fallopian tubes.. PHOTONIC THERAPEUTICS AND DIAGNOSTICS XII, 9689.
Keenan, M., Tate, T. H., Kieu, K., Black, J. F., Utzinger, U., & Barton, J. K. (2017). Design and characterization of a combined OCT and wide field imaging falloposcope for ovarian cancer detection. Biomedical optics express, 8(1), 124-136.

Early detection of ovarian cancer is only achieved in around 20% of women due to lack of effective screening. We propose a method for surveillance of high risk women based on a microendoscope introduced transvaginally to image the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This requires extreme miniaturization of the optics and catheter sheath. We describe the design of a falloposcope that combines optical coherence tomography (OCT) and wide field imaging into a sub-1 mm diameter package. We characterize the systems and show that they provide contrast on ex-vivo samples of ovary and fallopian tube. In addition, we show the mechanical performance of the endoscope in an anatomically correct model of the female reproductive tract.

Craig, Z. R., Davis, J. R., Marion, S. L., Barton, J. K., & Hoyer, P. B. (2010). 7,12-Dimethylbenz[A]Anthracene Induces Sertoli-Leydig-Cell Tumors in the Follicle-Depleted Ovaries of Mice Treated with 4-Vinylcyclohexene Diepoxide. COMPARATIVE MEDICINE, 60(1), 10-17.
BIO5 Collaborators
Jennifer Kehlet Barton, Zelieann R Craig