IR absorption imaging, especially using Fourier transform IR (FT-IR) imaging spectrometers, is an emerging modality for biomedical applications. As opposed to current techniques that largely utilize dyes or stains for microscopy, IR imaging promises label-free molecular analysis and recognition of important biochemical markers using computational methods that do not need human supervision. Here, we first provide an overview of this chemical imaging technology and discuss a number of important recent advances. We especially underscore how advances in instrumentation, data processing/handling, and theory are changing or opening new application areas. A variety of basic science applications and efforts towards clinical translation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6151800
Pages (from-to)1502-1513
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • Biomedical imaging
  • chemical imaging
  • Fourier transform IR (FT-IR) spectroscopy
  • histopathology
  • molecular analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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