Near-infrared spectrometry is being applied in the solution of problems in many areas of biomedical and pharmaceutical research, including cardiovascular radiology, brain imaging, formulation, quality/process control, and even clinical trials. The technique can also play a role in the biotechnology industry in the nondestructive analysis of small quantities of expensive materials. This report first defines near-IR spectrometry and imaging and then describes its application to atherosclerosis and stroke research. New developments in near-IR optics and instrumentation that make effective biomedical near-IR spectrometry possible are related, and, finally, new computational research results in parallel supercomputing for near-IR imaging are described. Together, instrumentation, optics, and computing combine to poise biomedical near-IR spectrometry for great advances as it enters the next century.

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