Professor Stephen Matcher

PhD, BSc

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Professor of Biophotonics


I graduated from Imperial College London with a BSc in Physics and subsequently a PhD in optical astronomy, where I used high-speed, low-light-level imaging to overcome atmospheric turbulence and achieve diffraction-limited ground-based imaging.

I translated my expertise in low-light-level imaging into medicine at University College London, where I developed near-infrared spectroscopy techniques to study tissue oxygen delivery, especially in newborn infants at risk from birth asphyxia.

I joined the staff of the Physics department at the University of Exeter, where I established research programmes in visible light spectroscopy of skin and optical coherence tomography (OCT).

In 2006 I joined the University of Sheffield where I am currently Professor of Biophotonics.

My chief research interest lies in the development and application of novel biophotonic imaging tools to aid the characterisation of native and engineered biological tissues.

I work extensively with optical coherence tomography (OCT), including novel variants such as polarization-sensitive OCT for the non-invasive assessment of collagen organization and OCT angiography for the measurement of tissue vascularization.

I also develop novel microscopy tools based on second harmonic generation (SHG) and novel clinical sensors based on fluorescence.

I am currently collaborating with clinical colleagues to improve the detection of bacterial and fungal eye infections, to provide tools for the early prediction of pre-term birth to develop non-invasive tools, to characterise skin barrier function and assess inflammatory skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis and to determine the biomechanical factors affecting the interaction between skin and man-made objects.

  • PhD in optical astronomy, Imperial College, London
  • BSc in Physics, Imperial College, London
Research interests
  • Biophotonics
  • Medical Imaging
  • OCT

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

Teaching activities
  • Module leader (BIE291 Biomedical Instrumentation)
Professional activities
  • Bioengineering personal tutor
  • Foundation Year personal tutor
Research students
Student Degree Status Primary/Secondary
Byers R A PhD Graduated Primary
Li, W PhD Graduated Primary
Lin, W C PhD Current Primary