Professor Stephen Matcher

PhD, BSc

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Professor of Biophotonics

Head and shoulders photograph of Professor Stephen Matcher
Profile picture of Head and shoulders photograph of Professor Stephen Matcher

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


  • Morgan SP, Rose FRAJ & Matcher SJ (2016) Optical Techniques in Regenerative Medicine. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

Teaching activities
  • Module leader (BIE291 Biomedical Instrumentation)
  • Module instructor (EEE228 Design Project)
Professional activities and memberships
  • 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 Graduated Primary
Yuan, R PhD Current Primary
Duan, T PhD Current Primary
Williams, S PhD Current Secondary
Hooper, S PhD Current Primary
Sasi, G PhD Current Secondary