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


Lee, M., Nammalvar, V., Gobin, A., Barton, J., West, J., & Drezek, R. (2006). Nanoshells as contrast agents for scatter-based optical imaging. 2006 3RD IEEE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON BIOMEDICAL IMAGING: MACRO TO NANO, VOLS 1-3, 371-+.
Wall, R. A., Bonnema, G. T., & Barton, J. K. (2010). Focused OCT and LIF Endoscope. ENDOSCOPIC MICROSCOPY V, 7558.
Castro, J. M., de Leon, E., Barton, J. K., & Kostuk, R. K. (2011). Analysis of diffracted image patterns from volume holographic imaging systems and applications to image processing. Applied optics, 50(2), 170-6.

Diffracted image patterns from volume holograms that are used in volume holographic imaging systems (VHISs) are investigated. It is shown that, in VHISs, prior information about the shape and spectral properties of the diffracted patterns is important not only to determine the curvature and field of view of the image, but also for image registration and noise removal. A new methodology to study numerically and analytically the dependence of VHIS diffraction patterns with the hologram construction parameters and the readout wavelength is described. Modeling and experimental results demonstrate that, in most cases, VHIS diffracted shapes can be accurately represented by hyperbolas.

Tate, T. H., Keenan, M., Black, J., Utzinger, U., & Barton, J. K. (2017). Ultraminiature optical design for multispectral fluorescence imaging endoscopes. Journal of biomedical optics, 22(3), 36013.

A miniature wide-field multispectral endoscopic imaging system was developed enabling reflectance and fluorescence imaging over a broad wavelength range. At 0.8-mm diameter, the endoscope can be utilized for natural orifice imaging in small lumens such as the fallopian tubes. Five lasers from 250 to 642 nm are coupled into a 125 - ? m diameter multimode fiber and transmitted to the endoscope distal tip for illumination. Ultraviolet and blue wavelengths excite endogenous fluorophores, which can provide differential fluorescence emission images for health and disease. Visible wavelengths provide reflectance images that can be combined for pseudo-white-light imaging and navigation. Imaging is performed by a 300 - ? m diameter three-element lens system connected to a 3000-element fiber. The lens system was designed for a 70-deg full field of view, working distance from 3 mm to infinity, and 40% contrast at the Nyquist cutoff of the fiber bundle. Measured performance characteristics are near design goals. The endoscope was utilized to obtain example monochromatic, pseudo-white-light, and composite fluorescence images of phantoms and porcine reproductive tract. This work shows the feasibility of packaging a highly capable multispectral fluorescence imaging system into a miniature endoscopic system that may have applications in early detection of cancer.

Agrawal, A., Huang, S., Lin, A., Lee, M., Barton, J. K., Drezek, R. A., & Pfefer, T. J. (2006). Quantitative evaluation of optical coherence tomography signal enhancement with gold nanoshells. JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS, 11(4).