This issue focuses on the use of optics for non-invasive assessment of tissue structure and dynamics inside the body. Temporal and spatial characteristics of light can be manipulated to reveal information not otherwise seen. The spectral and polarization characteristics of tissue and other body constituents can be combined with spatial localization methods to provide maps of blood flow, blood oxygenation/deoxygenation ratios, and other metrics useful in clinical diagnostics. The field is multidisciplinary, involves optics, engineering, medicine, and biology, and encompasses fundamental research, instrument development, clinical testing, and commercialization. As some of the papers indicate, much attention has to be given to refining those new optical techniques that are well adapted to clinical environments.

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