Alex Vitkin
Alex Vitkin
- Senior Scientist/ Fellow, Optical Society of America and Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -


Position
  • Senior Scientist - Ontario Cancer Institute & University Health Network (Division of Biophysics and Bioimaging)
  • Professor - Department of Medical Biophysics & Radiation Oncology - U. of Toronto
  • Medical Physicist - Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Hospital (board certified, CCPM)
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America
  • Fellow, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

  • Location
    TMDT 15-313
    Phone
    416-634-8727
    Email
    Alex.vitkin@rmp.uhn.ca
    Research Interests
  • laser-tissue interactions
  • optical coherence structural and functional tomography
  • polarized light-tissue studies
  • opto-thermal therapy and transfer in tissues
  • radiation oncology physics

  • Biography (link to C.V.)
    Alex Vitkin is an engineering physicist / biomedical engineer by training, with further specialization in medical physics and applications of lasers in medicine. He is currently a professor of Medical Biophysics and Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto, a senior scientist in the division of BioPhysics and BioImaging at the Ontario Cancer Institute of the University Health Network, and a medical physicist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (all in Toronto, Ontario, Canada). His research is the field of biophotonics, with particular emphasis on structural and functional optical coherence tomography, tissue polarimetry, and optical fiber sensors. He has published >180 papers and book chapters on diagnostic and therapeutic uses of light in biomedicine, and holds several patents in the field; his laboratory works closely with clinicians and with industry, and he is a consultant for several biophotonics companies. He is a regular reviewer for NIH, CIHR, NSERC, CIMIT, and other granting agencies. He lectures widely, delivering special seminars and summer school modules on biophotonics in Brazil, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Germany, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, USA, Ukraine, and Vietnam; he is currently an active participant in the SPIE Visiting Lecturer and OSA Travelling Lecturer programs. Dr. Vitkin is also a board-certified medical physicist through the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM) and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

    Selected Publications
    Optical Polarization Effects in Tissues
  • Fung KLB et al. Monte Carlo simulation of polarization-sensitive second-harmonic generation and propagation in biological tissue. Journal of Biophotonics, 1-11 (2018)
  • Wolman M et al. Optimized mass spectrometry analysis workflow with polarimetric guidance for ex vivo and in situ sampling of biological tissues, Scientific Reports, 7 (2017)
  • Forward, S et al. Flexible polarimetric probe for 3x3 Mueller matrix measurements of biological tissue, Scientific Reports, 7 (2017)
  • Tata A et al. Rapid detection of necrosis in breast cancer with desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, Scientific Reports, 6 (2016)
  • Tata A et al. Wide-field tissue polarimetry allows efficient localized mass spectrometry imaging of biological tissues, Chemical Science, 7 (2015)
  • Alali S et al. Rapid wide-field mueller matrix polarimetry imaging based on four photoelastic modulators with no moving parts, Optics Letters, 1038 (2016)
  • Alali S et al. Polarized light imaging in biomedicine: emerging mueller matrix methodologies for bulk tissue assessment, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 20 (2015)
  • Alali S et al. Assessment of local structural disorders of the bladder wall in partial bladder outlet obstruction using polarized light imaging, Biomedical Optical Express, 5 (2014)
  • Alali S et al. Optimization of rapid Mueller matrix imaging of turbid media using four photoelastic modulators without mechanically moving parts, Optical Engineering, 52 (2013)
  • Gribble A et al. Experimental validation of optimum input polarization states for Mueller matrix determination with a dual photoelastic modulator polarimeter, Optics Letters, 38 (2013)
  • Alali S et al. Rapid time-gated polarimetric Stokes imaging using photoelastic modulators, Optics Letters, 38 (2013)
  • Alali S et al. Detecting axial heterogeneity of birefringence in layered turbid media using polarized light imaging, Biomedical Optics Express, 3 (2012)
  • Kumar S et al., Comparative study of differential matrix and extended polar decomposition formalisms for polarimetric characterization of complex tissue-like turbid media, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 17 (2012)
  • Alali S et al., Quantitative correlation between light depolarization and transport albedo of various porcine tissues, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 17 (2012)
  • Layden D et al., Optimum selection of input polarization states in determining the sample Mueller matrix: a dual photoelastic polarimeter approach, Optics Express, 20 (2012)
  • Alali S et al. Optical assessment of tissue anisotropy in ex vivo distended rat bladders, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 17 (2012)
  • Ghosh N et al. Tissue polarimetry: concepts, challenges, applications, and outlook, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 16 (2011)
  • Ahmad M et al. Do different turbid media with matched bulk optical properties also exhibit similar polarization properties? Biomedical Optics Express, 2, (2011)
  • Wood MF et al. Effects of formalin fixation on tissue optical polarization properties, Phys. Med. Biol., 56 (2011)
  • Wallenburg MA et al., Two-photon microscopy of healthy, infarcted and stem-cell treated regenerating heart, Journal of Biophotonics, 4, (2011)
  • Wood, MF et al. Polarization birefringence measurements for characterizing the myocardium, including healthy, infarcted, and stem-cell-regenerated tissues. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 15 (2010)
  • Wallenburg MA et al. Polarimetry-based method to extract geometry-independent metrics of tissue anisotropy, Optical Letters, 35 (2010)
  • Wallenburg MA et al. Comparison of optical polarimetry and diffusion tensor MRI for assessing myocardial anisotropy, J. Innovative Optical Health Science, 3 (2010)
  • Ghosh N et al. Influence of the order of the constituent basis matrices on the Mueller matrix decomposition-derived polarization parameters in complex turbid media such as biological tissues, Optics Communications, 283 (2010)
  • Guo X et al. Depolarization of light in turbid media: a scattering event resolved Monte Carlo study, Applied Optics, 49 (2010)
  • Ghosh N et al. Polarimetry in turbid, birefringent, optically active media: A Monte Carlo study of Mueller matrix decomposition in the backscattering geometry, Journal of Applied Physics, 105 (2009)
  • Wood MF et al. Proof-of-principle demonstration of a Mueller matrix decomposition method for polarized light tissue characterization in vivo, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 14 (2009)
  • Vitkin IA et al., Diagnostic photomedicine: probing biological tissues with polarized light, SPIE Newsroom, (2008)
  • Ghosh N et al., Mueller matrix decomposition for polarized light assessment of biological tissues, Journal of Biophotonics, 2 (2009)
  • Wood MF et al. Mueller matrix decomposition for extraction of individual polarization parameters from complex turbid media exhibiting multiple scattering, optical activity, and linear birefringence, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 13 (2008)
  • Wood MF et al. Combined optical intensity and polarization methodology for analyte concentration determination in simulated optically clear and turbid biological media, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 13 (2008)
  • Guo X et al. Monte Carlo study of pathlength distribution of polarized light in turbid media, Optics Express, 15 (2007)
  • Wood MF et al. Polarized light propagation in multiply scattering media exhibiting both linear birefringence and optical activity: Monte Carlo model and experimental methodology, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 12 (2007)
  • Guo X et al. Angular measurements of light scattered by turbid chiral media using linear Stokes polarimeter, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 11 (2006)
  • Côté D et al. Robust concentration determination of optically active molecules in turbid media with validated three-dimensional polarization sensitive Monte Carlo calculations, Optics Express, 13 (2005)
  • Côté D et al. Balanced detection for low-noise precision polarimetric measurements of optically active, multiply scattering tissue phantoms, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 9 (2004)
  • Hadley KC et al. Optical rotation and linear and circular depolarization rates in diffusively scattered light from chiral, racemic, and achiral turbid media, Journal of Biomedical Optics 7, (2002)
  • Vitkin IA et al., Effects of molecular asymmetry of optically active molecules on the polarization properties of multiply scattered light, Optics Express, 10 (2002)
  • Vitkin IA. Polarization preservation in diffusive scattering from in vivo turbid biological media: effect of tissue optical absorption in the exact backscattering direction , Optics Communications, 190 (2001)
  • Studinski RC et al. Methodology for examining polarized light interactions with tissues and tissuelike media in the exact backscattering direction, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 5 (2000)
  • Vitkin IA et al. Polarization studies in multiply scattering chiral media, Optical Engineering 39 (2000)


  • Optical Coherence Tomography
  • Demidov V et al. Preclinical quantitative in-vivo assessment of skin tissue vascularity in radiation-induced fibrosis with optical coherence tomography, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 23 (2018)
  • Gelikonov V et al. Cross-polarization optical coherence tomography with active maintenance of the circular polarization of a sounding wave in a common path system, Radiation & Quantum Electronics, 60 (2018)
  • Demidov V et al. Alternative Contrast Mechanism in Optical Coherence Tomography: Temporal Speckle Synchronization Effects, Modern Technologies in Medicine, 10 (2018)
  • Demidov V et al. Preclinical longitudinal imaging of tumor microvascular radiobiological response with functional optical coherence tomography, Scientific Reports, 8 (2018)
  • Maslennikova AV et. al. In-vivo longitudinal imaging of microvascular changes in irriated oral mucosa of radiotherapy cancer patients using optical coherence tomography, Scientific Reports, 7 (2017)
  • Zaitsev VY et. al. Practical obstacles and their mitigation strategies in compressional optical coherence elastography of biological tissues, Journal of Innovative Optical Health Sciences, 10 (2017)
  • Assadi H et al. Microvascular contrast enhancement in optical coherence tomography using microbubbles Journal of Biomedical Optics 21, (2016)
  • Zaitsev VY et al. Optimized phase gradient measurements and phase - amplitude interplay in optical coherence elastography Journal of Biomedical Optics 21, (2016)
  • Davoudi B et.al. Quantitative assessment of oral microstructural and microvascular changes in late oral radiation toxicity, using noninvasive in-vivo optical coherence tomography. Photon Lasers Med (2015).
  • Zaitsev VY et al. Hybrid method of strain estimation in optical coherence elastrography using combined sub-wavelength phase measurements and supra-pixel displacement tracking. Journal of Biophotonics 9, (2016)
  • Popov I et al. Dynamic light scattering by flowing Brownian particles measured with optical coherence tomography: impact of the optical system. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 21 (2016)
  • Mitsuro S et.al. Analysis of scattering statistics and governing distribution functions in optical coherence tomography. Biomedical Optics Express, 7 (2016).
  • Pires L et.al. Optical clearing of melanoma in vivo: characterization by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 21 (2016)
  • Weatherbee A et.al. Probability density function formalism for optical coherence tomography signal. Optics Letters, 41 (2016)
  • Ahmad I et al. Polarimetric assessment of healthy and radiofrequency ablated porcine myocardial tissue, Journal of Biophotonics 9, (2015)
  • Bogatan S et al., Talin Is Required Continuously for Cardiomyocyte Remodeling during Heart Growth in Drosophila, PLoS One 10, (2015)
  • Zaitsev VY. et al., Deformation-induced speckle-pattern evolution and feasibility of correlational speckle tracking in optical coherence elastography, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 20 (2015)
  • Matveev LA. et al., Hybrid M-mode-like OCT imaging of three-dimensional microvasculature in vivo using reference-free processing of complex valued B-scans, Optics Letter, 40 (2015)
  • Demidov V et al., Imaging the electro-kinetic response of biological tissues with phase-resolved optical coherence tomography, Photon Lasers Med, 3 (2014)
  • Matveev LA et al., Novel methods for elasticity characterization using optical coherence tomography: Brief review and future prospects, Photon Lasers Med, 3 (2014)
  • Davoudi B et al., Correlating optical coherence tomography images with dose distribution in late oral radiationtoxicity patients, Photon Lasers Med, 3 (2014)
  • Popov I et al., Dynamic light scattering arising from flowing Brownian particles: analytical model in optical coherence tomography conditions, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 19 (2014)
  • Kirillin MY et al., Speckle statistics in OCT images: Monte Carlo simulations and experimental studies, Optics Letters, 39 (2014)
  • Davoudi B. et al., Optical coherence tomography platform for microvascular imaging and quantification: initial experience in late oral radiation toxicity patients, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18 (2013)
  • Lindenmaier AA et al., Texture analysis of optical coherence tomography speckle for characterizing biological tissues in vivo, Optics Letters, 38 (2013)
  • Vitkin IA et al. Improving treatment efficacy with biological or biophysical feedback, SPIE Newsroom, (2012)
  • Conroy L et al. Quantifying tissue microvasculature with speckle variance optical coherence tomography, Optics Letters, 37 (2012)
  • Davoudi B et al. Noninvasive in vivo structural and vascular imaging of human oral tissues with spectral domain optical coherence tomography, Biomedical Optics Express, 3 (2012)
  • Ullah H et al., Can Temporal Analysis of Optical Coherence Tomography Statistics Report on Dextrorotatory-Glucose Levels in Blood?, Laser Physics, 21, (2011)
  • Mariampillai A et al., Optimized speckle variance OCT imaging of microvasculature, Optics Letters, 35 (2010)
  • Munce NR et al., Doppler optical coherence tomography for interventional cardiovascular guidance: in vivo feasibility and forward-viewing probe flow phantom demonstration, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 15 (2010)
  • Standish BA et al., In vivo endoscopic multi-beam optical coherence tomography, Physics in Medicine & Biology, 55 (2010)
  • Leung MKK et al., High-power wavelength-swept laser in Littman telescope-less polygon filter and dual-amplifier configuration for multichannel optical coherence tomography, Optics Letters, 34 (2009)
  • Douplik A et al., In Vivo Real Time Monitoring of Vasoconstriction and Vasodilation by a Combined Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy and Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography Approach, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 40 (2008)
  • Liu GY et al., High power wavelength linearly swept mode locked fiber laser for OCT imaging, Optics Express 16 (2008)
  • Mariampillai A et al., Speckle variance detection of microvasculature using swept-source optical coherence tomography, Optics Letters 33 (2008)
  • Munce NR et al., Electrostatic forward-viewing scanning probe for Doppler optical coherence tomography using a dissipative polymer catheter, Optics Letters, 33 (2008)
  • Lam S et al., In vivo Optical CoherenceTomography Imaging of Preinvasive Bronchial Lesions, Clinical Cancer Research, 14 (2008)
  • Munce NR et al., Ex Vivo Imaging of Chronic Total Occlusions Using Forward-Looking Optical Coherence Tomography, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 39 (2007)
  • Standish et al., Interstitial Doppler optical coherence tomography monitors microvascular changes during photodynamic therapy in a Dunning prostate model under varying treatment conditions, Journal of Biomedical Optics 12, (2007)
  • Mariampillai A et al., Doppler optical cardiogram gated 2D color flow imaging at 1000 fps and 4D in vivo visualization of embryonic heart at 45 fps on a swept source OCT system, Optics Express 15 (2007)
  • Morofke et al., Wide dynamic range detection of bidirectional flow in Doppler optical coherence tomography using a two-dimensional Kasai estimator, Optics Letters 32 (2007)
  • Standish et al., Doppler optical coherence tomography monitoring of microvascular tissue response during photodynamic therapy in an animal model of Barrett's esophagus, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 66(2), 326-333 (2007)
  • Yang et al., Doppler optical coherence tomography with a micro-electro-mechanical membrane mirror for high-speed dynamic focus tracking, Optics Letters 31 (2006)
  • Li H et al., Feasibility of Interstitial Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography for In Vivo Detection of Microvascular Changes During Photodynamic Therapy, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 38 (2006)
  • Yang et al., Endoscopic Doppler optical coherence tomography in the human GI tract: initial experience, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 61 (2005)
  • Yang et al., Interstitial Doppler optical coherence tomography, Optics Letters 30 (2005)
  • Yang et al., Micromachined array tip for multifocus fiber-based optical coherence tomography, Optics Letters 29(15),1754-1756 (August 2004)
  • Qi et al., Dynamic focus control in high-speed optical coherence tomography based on a microelectromechanical mirror, Optics Communications 232 (2004)
  • Tang et al., In vivo Doppler optical coherence tomography of mucocutaneous telangiectases in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 58 (2003)
  • Yang et al., High speed, wide velocity dynamic range Doppler optical coherence tomography (Part III): in vivo endoscopic imaging of blood flow in the rat and human gastrointestinal tracts, Optics Express 11(19), 2416-2424 (Sep. 2003)
  • Yang et al., High speed, wide velocity dynamic range Doppler optical coherence tomography (Part II): Imaging in vivo cardiac dynamics of Xenopus laevis, Optics Express 11 (2003)
  • Yang et al., High speed, wide velocity dynamic range Doppler optical coherence tomography (Part I): System design, signal processing, and performance, Optics Express 11 (2003)
  • Yang et al., Optical coherence and Doppler tomography for monitoring tissue changes induced by laser thermal therapy - An in vivo feasibility study, Review of scientific instruments 74 (2003)
  • Yang et al., Improved phase-resolved optical Doppler tomography using the Kasai velocity estimator and histogram segmentation, Optics Communications 208 (2002)
  • Photonics Research Ontario (PRO), Press Release (2001)
  • Canadian Cancer Society, Press Release (2001)


  • Optical Fiber Sensors / Opto-Thermal Therapy
  • Chin LCL et al. Interstitial point radiance spectroscopy of turbid media, Journal of Applied Physics, 105(2009)
  • Alexandra Rink et al., Temperature and hydration effects on absorbance spectra and radiation sensitivity of a radiochromic medium, Medical Physics, 35 (2008)
  • Alexandra Rink, I. Alex Vitkin, and David A. Jaffray, Intra-irradiation changes in the signal of polymer-based dosimeter (GAFCHROMIC EBT) due to dose rate variations, Phys. Med. Biol. 52, N523-N529 (2007)
  • Lee C L Chin, William M Whelan and I Alex Vitkin, Perturbative diffusion theory formalism for interpreting temporal light intensity changes during laser interstitial thermal therapy, Phys. Med. Biol., 52:1659-1674 (2007)
  • Alexandra Rink, I. Alex Vitkin, and David A. Jaffray, Energy dependence (75 kVp to 18 MV) of radiochromic films assessed using a real-time optical dosimeter, Med. Phys. 34 (2) (February 2007)
  • Chin et al., Information content of point radiance measurements in turbid media: implications for interstitial optical property quantification, Applied Optics 45(9), 2101-2114 (March 2006)
  • Alexandra Rink, I. Alex Vitkin, and David A. Jaffray, Characterization and real-time optical measurements of the ionizing radiation dose response for a new radiochromic medium, Med. Phys. 32 (8) (August 2005)
  • Alexandra Rink, I. Alex Vitkin, and David A. Jaffray, Suitability of radiochromic medium for real-time optical measurements of ionizing radiation dose, Med. Phys. 32 (4) (April 2005)
  • Chin et al., Radiance-based monitoring of the extent of tissue coagulation during laser interstitial thermal therapy, Optics Letters 29(9), 959-961 (May 2004)
  • Chin et al., Optical method using fluence or radiance measurements to monitor thermal therapy, Review of Scientific Instruments 74(1), 393-395 (Jan. 2003)
  • Chin et al., Models and measurements of light intensity changes during laser interstitial thermal therapy: implications for optical monitoring of the coagulation boundary location, Phys. Med. Biol. 48, 543-559 (2003)
  • Chin et al., Changes in relative light fluence measured during laser heating: implications for optical monitoring and modelling of interstitial laser photocoagulation, Phys. Med. Biol. 46, 2407-2420 (2001)
  • Whelan et al., Laser thermal therapy: utility of interstitial fluence monitoring for locating optical sensors, Phys. Med. Biol. 46, N91-N96 (2001)
  • Iizuka et al., The effects of dynamic optical properties during interstitial laser photocoagulation, Phys. Med. Biol. 45, 1335-1357 (2000)


  • Editorials / Review Articles / Book Chapters / Interesting Miscellany
  • David Layden, Nirmalya Ghosh, and Alex Vitkin, Quantitative Polarimetry for Tissue Characterization and Diagnosis, in Advanced Biophotonics: Tissue Optical Sectioning, Chapter 13
  • Alex Vitkin, Nirmalya Ghosh, and Antonello de Martino, Tissue Polarimetry, in Photonics: Scientific Foundations, Technology and Applications, Volume IV, First Edition, Edited by David L. Andrews. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc: 2015), Chapter 7
  • Nandan Das, Subhasri Chatterjee, Satish Kumar, Asima Pradhan, Prasanta Panigrahi, I. Alex Vitkin, and Nirmalya Ghosh, Tissue multifractality and Born approximation in analysis of light scattering: a novel approach for precancers detection, Scientific Reports, 4(6129), Sept 2014
  • Beau A. Standish, Adrian Mariampillai, Michael K. K. Leung, and I. Alex Vitkin, Optical Coherence Tomography: Principles and Applications of Microvascular Imaging, in Handbook of Coherent-Domain Optical Methods, Edited by V.V. Tuchin (Springer Science+Business Media, New York, USA:2013), Chapter 22
  • I. Alex Vitkin
  • Lee C.I. Chin, William M. Whelan, and I. Alex Vitkin, Optical Fiber Sensors for Biomedical Applications, 2011
  • Wood MFG, Ghosh N, Guo X, Vitkin IA, Towards non-invasive glucose monitoring in biomedicine using a polarized light approach, in Optical Glucose Sensing, Physiology, and Clearing, Tuchin VV, editor (CRC Press, Baton Rouge, USA), chapter 17, 2008
  • Ghosh N, Wood MFG, Vitkin IA, Polarized light assessment of complex turbid media such as biological tissues via Mueller matrix decomposition, in Handbook of Photonics for Biomedical Science, Tuchin VV, editor (Taylor and Francis, London, USA), chapter 9, 2010
  • Brian C. Wilson, I. Alex Vitkin and Dennis L. Matthews, The potential of biophotonic techniques in stem cell tracking and monitoring of tissue regeneration applied to cardiac stem cell therapy, J. of Biophotonics 2 (11), 669-681 (2009)
  • V.X.D. Yang and I.A. Vitkin, Principles of Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography, in Handbook of Optical Coherence Tomography in Cardiology, edited by Evelyn Regar, Ton van Leeuwen and Patrick Serruys (Taylor and Francis Medical, Oxford, UK: 2006), chapter 32
  • Courtney et al., Innovations in imaging for chronic total occlusions: a glimpse into the future of angiography's blind-spot, European Heart Journal 29, 583-593 (2008)
  • Vitkin, Biomedical Applications of Light (Guest Editorial) Optics and Photonics News 12(7), p.5 (July 2001)
  • Vitkin, Biomedical Applications of Light (Guest Editorial) OPN Trends (Supplement to Optics and Photonics News 12(5)) (July 2001)


  • Fun / General Interest
  • I.A. Vitkin, Shedding Some Light on the Blue Vein Enigma, Optics and Photonics News (June 1997)
  • I.A. Vitkin, Polarized Light and the Asymmetry of Life, Optics and Photonics News (July 1996)