Follow this page and our photo gallery for news from SPIE Photonics West 2016
Busy week? Yes, it was!
If it seemed like a busy week to you, you weren't alone -- with aisles full of shoppers, some exhibitors barely had time to grab a coffee, even on the third and final day of the show.
Total registered attendance topped 22,000, setting another record, as did the number of exhibiting companies in the Photonics West Exhibition. Sold out weeks earlier, the final count was 1,345 companies. The weekend BiOS Expo included 212 companies.
Hot technical topics included neurophotonics, 3D printing and imaging, miniaturization in biomedical devices as well as sensors and optoelectronic devices, photoacoustic sensing, fiiber lasers, and silicon photonics, to name a few. Highlights are below, and a small sampling from the more than 4,800 technical presentations is at these links:
Schott fundraiser supports homeless children and teens
Schott once again used the exhibition as an opportunity to raise money for Project Night Night, a not-for-profit agency based in San Francisco. The proceeds from a suggested $1 donation for each of their latest shot glasses were matched by Schott. Project Night Night provides "Night Night Packages" including a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children's book, and a stuffed animal, free of charge, to homeless children from birth to pre-teen to help them "feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and significant."
A night to honor photonics innovation: the Prism Awards
Outstanding new products from companies in five countries were named as winners the 2016 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation at a gala banquet Wednesday evening. Who won? Read the SPIE press release for details.
Congratulations to all!
Startup Challenge is quite a contest
Judges had the tough job of choosing just three winners the 2016 SPIE Startup Challenge after a live competition Wednesday afternoon. Prizes funded by founding partner Jenoptik and other sponsors went to Double Helix for a system that can provide unprecedented imaging detail at the nanoscale level to speed the drug development process.
Taking second place was Diagnostic anSERS for its marijuana breathalyzer, using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for its tool for law enforcement who need a road-side drug test for suspected impaired drivers.
In third place was Disease Diagnostic Group, with a diagnostic tool made from refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer that can be used to help diagnose diseases like malaria before people show symptoms, saving lives and treatment costs.
For more information, see the SPIE press release.
Nothing like it anywhere: Photonics West Exhibition is open
The big show is now open -- 10 a.m. Tuesday saw a flood of visitors headed into North and South exhibition hall to see more than 1,300 exhibition companies. The show is open through Thursday, with numerous product launches, demonstrations, and industry events throughout.
Tall, shiny, and handsome, and apt to break into song at any moment, Nox, the Laser Components robot (below), was a hit with the crowd standing by outside the South hall.
Have you posted your photo or video yet? Use the tag #photonicswest for maximum sharing value.
Photonic crystal fibers
Even 20 years after they were invented, photonic crystal fibers remain a vibrant technology that's promising for a myriad of applications, said Philip Russell of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Germany, in the LASE plenary session Wednesday morning. Russell first developed the fibers in 1996.
Conventional optical fibers confine and guide light with total internal reflection. Photonic crystal fibers, however, employ a new mechanism, using a periodic network of hollow channels that surround the fiber's core, which can be either hollow or solid glass. The hollow channels allow for precise control of the light even across large distances.
Such precise control has opened up many potential uses. Fibers with hollow cores enable faster transmission of data, since light travels quicker through air. By converting short pulses of infrared into a bright, broad band of light, solid-core versions of these fibers have led to new kinds of supercontinuum sources, important for a host of uses, such as spectroscopy and microscopy.
One of the most important recent applications of these fibers is the generation of vacuum ultraviolet light, which is immediately absorbed by oxygen in the air. A photonic crystal fiber's hollow core can be filled with gas. By adjusting the pressure of the gas, researchers can tune the properties of the light-such as the group velocity dispersion-traveling through the fiber.
By tuning the light, they can convert infrared into vacuum UV, which is useful for spectroscopy, characterizing new materials, and many other applications. Russell's team is now starting a company to develop these new vacuum UV light sources.
Today, most nanofabrication techniques happen in two dimensions. But 3D nanofabrication opens up new possibilities, from developing tiny machines and devices that treat diseases to metamaterials with new properties, said Satoshi Kawata of the University of Osaka and RIKEN, in his plenary talk.
In 1997, Kawata's team devised a technique called two-photon photopolymerization to create 3D structures as small as a blood cell -- for example, a nanoscale data-storage device or a 3D metallic nanostructure, such as an antenna array.
But the technique is limited for fabricating larger structures with nanoscale precision.
One way to make such structures is by growing them, Kawata said. By firing a UV laser into a photopolymerizable resin, he found he could induce the growth of optical fibers. Like water carving out a system of rivers and streams, the fibers branch off and merge. A large structure can be created without having to drill or cut individual fibers.
Most recently, Kawata is using these self-growth techniques to create metallic fractal metamaterials. He starts with silver nanoparticles on a glass substrate, all in a silver ion solution. A laser beam heats the metal, which helps reduce the ions floating nearby, turning them into silver atoms that latch onto the nanoparticle. The particle grows into a needle with branches sprouting from its sides. These nanoforests, as he calls them, could form metamaterials with new kinds of useful properties.
Kawata said these techniques could possibly be used to make micromachines for inside the body, although it's still too early to know for sure what the new properties might be and how these metamaterials may be used.
Future of lasers
Lasers have been around for decades. But only now is the laser industry starting to come into its own, said Scott Keeney, President/CEO and co-founder of nLight Corporation.
Keeney spoke in his plenary talk about the disruptive effects of high-power semiconductor lasers, bringing the plenary session to a close on a very practical, real-world note.
He told the audience that advanced manufacturing would be among the big applications for these lasers, as well as microfabrication for the consumer and medical markets. Additive manufacturing, while a promising field, "needs significant improvements" in economics.
"Volume has become more important," he said, now that dramatic improvements in reliability have been achieved. For example, in many areas fiber lasers are replacing CO2 lasers, he said. "We've just hit our stride with respect to technology improvements and cost improvements."
The current laser market is fragmented, he said, filled with many relatively small companies. Although the market is still immature, there will continue to be many opportunities for growth -- thanks to the industry's own version of Moore's Law.
But maintaining the current pace of advancement will also require continued progress in material science, automation processes, optical designs, and in lowering costs. Still, Keeney is optimistic that the growth will continue.
A commitment to future scientists
Newport continued its support of students and early career professionals during the SPIE Student Lunch with the Experts on Tuesday. Newport President and CEO Robert Phillippy was on hand to present 17 students with Newport Research Excellence Travel Awards. The program provides financial support for university students to attend the two largest SPIE meetings in order to present their research.
Phillippy said that creative and innovative minds enable scientific discovery and that's why he's so excited about events like Photonics West.
SPIE President Robert Lieberman presented 13 students with SPIE Education and Travel Grants.
Polishing that pitch
Aspiring entrepreneurs had the opportunity to polish their pitches with expert assistance Monday afternoon, in preparation for the SPIE Startup Challenge finals on Wednesday afternoon (above, Rubén Mohedano and Carmen Lastres from the Limbak team consult with an advisor). The final round is open to the public, and will be held 3:30-6 p.m. Wednesday in Moscone South 103. The first-place winner will walk away with $10,000 and other prizes, thanks to support from Founding Partner Jenoptik; Lead Sponsors Axsun Technologies and the National Science Foundation; and Supporting Sponsors Edmund Optics, Trumpf, Open Photonics, and Knobbe Martens. Read more about the contest and the contestants in the SPIE press release.
Moving matter with light
While one of the most "common and beautiful" uses of light is imaging, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop from the University of Queensland prefers to expand its potential and exploit the properties of light to physically move objects. In her Nano/Biophotonics plenary talk on Tuesday morning, Rubinsztein-Dunlop described the evolution of our understanding of light, and recent work in the field of biophotonics harnessing the momentum of light to study biological systems.
The concept of optical tweezers has been around for many years, and was originally developed by Arthur Ashkin. When a laser beam is precisely focused to a point, the electric field gradient is the strongest as the center of the beam waist. A small dielectric particle in the laser beam will therefore be "pushed" downstream as photons absorbed or scattered by the particle transfer their linear and angular momentum to it, until it reaches the optical trap at the beam waist. Studying the Brownian motion or roll frequency of particles in these traps is possible by detecting the scattered light field from the particle to pinpoint its position down to the Angstrom scale.
In her work, Rubinsztein-Dunlop is building a synergy between optical tweezers and optogenetics by exploring neural responses of zebrafish to isolated stimuli. Zebrafish constitute a common animal model used for investigating imaging techniques due to their general tissue transparency, and the parallels between regions of their brains with those of mammals.
Rubinsztein-Dunlop and her research group used optical tweezers to physically manipulate the small crystals responsible for hearing and acceleration sensing inside the heads of zebrafish and compare brain activity with tail response. The group hopes to use this information to better understand what neurons are involved in movement.
Posters are popular
Some 3,000 poster session attendees filled Moscone West on Monday evening, to enjoy the delightful combination of relaxed networking and plenty of interesting new work to discuss with authors and other colleagues. See more photos in the event photo gallery.
Making a conscious commitment to a diverse workforce
SPIE Vice President Maryellen Giger introduces the Women in Optics panel.
"I don't think people realize how much Rome is burning," Karla Monterroso of CODE2040 asserted during the Women in Optics presentation on Monday evening, regarding the lack of progress in recruiting and retaining minorities and women in STEM roles.
In the standing-room-only panel discussion, Monterroso was joined on the stage by Rachel Thomas of Hackbright Academy, Y-vonne Hutchinson of ReadySet, Omoju Miller of Learners Guild, and Lina Nilsson of Enlitic.
The five women shared their experiences working towards solving one of the biggest challenges of the tech world: creating an inclusive workforce to build the best teams possible. With backgrounds ranging from computer science to journalism to law, the women on stage discussed not "issues of women in tech," but rather the issues of our culture towards women in tech. According to Miller, we need to take "ownership of the culture and systematically [seek] to change it."
Read more of the panelists' comments in the Photonics for a Better World blog post.
Imaging live cells in human tissues 'just a matter of when'
|New and long-time Fellows enjoy a luncheon.
The Grand Ballroom at the Intercontinental Hotel was abuzz with chatter on topics ranging from family vacations to quantum nonlinear optics during the SPIE Fellows luncheon on Monday. As empty plates started to make their way back to the kitchen, SPIE President Robert Lieberman presented 14 of the 32 newest Fellows of the Society with their pins and plaques before introducing the keynote speaker, David Sampson of the University of Western Australian.
Sampson is known for his groundbreaking advances in the development of microscopes-in-a-needle. His talk on Monday was a look at not only his own research, but a progress report on the field as a whole in the goal of imaging live cells in human tissues with optics.
Citing the 2015 discovery of the brain lymphatic system as an example of what is still left to learn about human anatomy and physiology, Sampson was adamant that there is a true need for new and improved cell imaging techniques in vivo.
After summarizing the advantages and drawbacks of techniques such as optical coherence microscopy, reflectance confocal microscopy, and multiphoton microscopy, Sampson concluded that the so-called "holy grail" accomplishment yet to be achieved is imaging through scattered media using methods that could be adapted clinically in vivo.
While he believes this technology is still a long way down the road, Sampson asserted that "if physics doesn't say 'it can't be done,' it will be done, it is just a matter of when."
Exploiting optical loss positively
While optical losses are typically undesirable, Xiang Zhang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, has established that it is possible to exploit these losses in a critical way to garner an overall benefit, particularly in the field of plasmonics where losses are inevitable. In his OPTO plenary talk Monday morning, Zhang elegantly described his proof-of-concept demonstration of a nanoscale color sorter based on the physical principles of plasmonic devices.
When multiple plasmonic devices are placed in close proximity, near-field coupling occurs, essentially turning the plasmonic "atoms" into "molecules." These "molecules" have characteristic resonances based on their shape, geometry, and material.
By adjusting the physical spacing of the two "atoms," imaginary coupling can be achieved, in which the real component of the resonance is zero and only the imaginary component remains.
Zhang has demonstrated the independent excitation of individual resonant spectra in a device with five closely-packed, imaginary-coupled antenna pairs, each of a slightly different size. Key possible applications for similar devices are nanoscale spectroscopy, high sensitivity and resolution color CCDs, and in spectrum splitters for solar cells.
Real-world implications of quantum nonlinear optics
In his plenary talk, Robert Boyd, University of Ottawa and University of Rochester, established that "nonlinear optics is a superb platform from which to explore new physical processes and develop photonics applications."
Investigating the relationships between nonlinear optics and quantum phenomena can pave the way to many discoveries and technological developments, Boyd said. An example of this is the recent breakthrough measurements of gravitational waves by the LIGO lab; it was precision measurements beyond the shot noise limit using squeezed states of light that facilitated the groundbreaking observation.
Boyd and his group are using what they know about slow light to overcome the well-established 1/L resolution limit of spectrometers, with the goal of miniaturizing them to chip-scale. Their 1mm long slow-light wave guide, placed into a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, demonstrated a quarter wave resolution of a mere 17 pm, and was able to spectroscopically distinguish relatively harmless acetylene from poisonous hydrogen cyanide.
The group has also performed the first observation of a polarization Möbius strip. While this technique does not yet have any practical applications, it was the first direct indication that light fields can possess "rich spatial structure" on sub-wavelength scales, contrary to previous schools of thought.
Taking 'AIM' at photonics manufacturing
The American Institute for Manufacturing of Integrated Photonics, or AIM Photonics for short, was established on 27 July 2015, with a lead location at SUNY Polytechnic University. Michael Liehr, CEO of the institute and professor at SUNY Poly, presented "no formulas, no results, just promises" regarding the scope and vision for the infant institution in his plenary talk.
The AIM Photonics flagship facility is an immense 1.3 million square feet, with 135,000 square feet of Class 1 cleanroom space, boasting a 300/450mm continuously upgrading toolset, and processing capabilities spanning 65nm-7nm.
AIM Photonics is a member-driven consortium in the process of recruiting industry leaders and academic institutions, but also offers limited one-year project award agreements and support to small businesses. The institution has already begun to award projects, and is an open forum for input from members and non-members alike.
Liehr urged interested parties to directly contact the institute via https://www.aimphotonics.com/contact.
BRAIN Initiative gets hot topics review
|Noemie Levy of the OSTP was among speakers
at a hot topics session on the BRAIN Initiative.
A well-attended hot topics session Sunday on progress in the U.S. BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative featured speakers from federal agencies, academia, and industry. The session was sponsored by the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Neuroscience Task Force.
Task force chair Tom Baer of Stanford University introduced what he called "a who's who" of speakers from organizations working toward the initiative. Along with Talley and Levy were:
- Noemie Levy, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Senior Policy Advisor for Development
- Ned Talley, National Institutes of Health
- Mahmoud Fallahi, NSF Brain Program
- Michael Lin, Johns Hopkins University
- Mark Schnitzer, Stanford University
- Arnd Krueger, Spectra-Physics
- Stephanie Fullerton, Hamamatsu
- Kunal Ghosh, Inscopix
- James Sharp, Zeiss
- Marco Arrigoni, Coherent, Inc.
Read more in the SPIE press release: 'BRAIN Initiative boost from photonics highlighted at SPIE Photonics West'
First poster session fills the hall
The week's first poster session attracted a large crowd in the bright and airy Moscone West on Sunday evening.
Translational Research: 'poised to move from bench to bedside'
|Translational Research best paper award winners and symposium chairs, from left:
Oscar Carrasco-Zevallos, Hao Zhang, Bruce Tromberg, Gabriela Apiou, and Rui Li.
Scientists from Duke, Purdue, and Northwestern universities received research awards at the Translational Research forum on Sunday for their work demonstrating innovative optical techniques for real-world healthcare challenges.
The SPIE Translational Research virtual symposium, designed to facilitate the translation of biophotonics research into clinical practice, highlighted 229 papers from this year's BiOS that feature light-based technologies that can change patient outcomes. The award-winning papers featured health-care solutions using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and photoacoustic tomography.
- Oscar Carrasco-Zevallos (Duke University) developed a 4D microscope integrated with OCT to guide eye surgeons during delicate retinal surgery and when measuring the depth of corneal tissue.
- Rui Li of Purdue's Label-free Spectroscopic Imaging Group presented a multimodal photoacoustic tomography system for intraoperative assessment of breast tumor margins.
- Hao Zhang, director of the Functional Optical Imaging Lab at Northwestern University, who developed a new OCT technology to quantify retinal oxygen metabolism in vivo.
More than half of the papers, and two of those winning awards, involve new techniques to guide surgeons during operations, said symposium chairs Bruce Tromberg (Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Ctr., Univ. of California, Irvine) and Gabriela Apiou (Harvard Medical School, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital).
All three award-winning presentations are "poised to move from bench to bedside," Tromberg said. "Hopefully they will take off and improve the standard of care for patients."
Charting the course
Panelists offering insights during a panel discussion on Charting a Course in Photonics Sunday afternoon were (left to right) Jason Eichenholz of Open Photonics; Filipp Ignatovich, CTO of Lumetrics; Katie Schwertz, optical research engineer at Edmund Optics; and Marc Himel of Jenoptik; and moderator David Giltner, Zolo Technologies.
The idea of some in academia and industry that the other career track is inferior is “unfortunate,” said Giltner, director of field operations at Zolo Technologies.
Giltner and the panelists offered arguments to dispel the notion that one part of the optics and photonics field is better or more exalted than the other, and offered advice .ranging from a basic admonition to avoid typos in the résumé to an emphasis on building "social capital."
“The number one thing every single one of you need to do is to build social capital,” Eichenholz advised. “You do stuff for other people without expectation of getting something in return."
BiOS students meet the experts
Students had the opportunity to network with a leaders in the optics and photonics industry including Past President Toyohiko Yatagai during a lunch Sunday afternoon. SPIE President Robert Lieberman welcomed everyone, saying how thrilled he was to have a chance to meet the future of the community. Peter Andersen of DTU thanked SPIE for their support of the biennial Biophotonics Summer School on the island of Ven, Sweden. (Read first-hand reports from an attendee at the last school in SPIE's Photonics for a Better World blog: "Entrepreneurship is the theme," and "Just the right amount.")
Saturday night's big draw: BiOS Hot Topics
|Onstage at the BiOS Hot Topics session, Bruce Tromberg provides background on the career and
contributions of Britton Chance before presentation of Chance's namesake award to David Boas.
An audience of nearly 1,000 were welcomed to Saturday evening's Hot Topics session by BiOS chairs Jim Fujimoto of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Rox Anderson of Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard University (MGH and Harvard). The session is facilitated by Sergio Fantini of Tufts University.
|Robert Lieberman congratulates David Boas,
Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award recipient.
SPIE President Robert Lieberman (Lumoptics) presented the 2016 Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award to David Boas (MGH and Harvard).
Boas told about the influence of award namesake Professor Britton Chance, who mentored and guided Boas in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. He credited Chance with pushing him to find in vivo applications of optical imaging devices, and was also instrumental in introducing Boas to his now career-centric field of fNIRS.
Boas designs and uses fNIRS devices to measure brain activation in complement with BOLD fMRI to quantify metabolic indicators of neural activity.
Following Boas, Behrouz Shabestari of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering presented a tribute to SPIE Fellow Lee Rosen, a Scientific Review Officer at NIH for 26 years and head of the Biomedical Imaging Technology study sessions, who died on 22 October 2015. Rosen was a strong advocate for funding for medical instruments and devices, working to make the grant review process as effective, efficient, and fair as possible, Shabestari said.
Individualized drug selection for pancreas cancer patients
Opening the Hot Topics talks, Melissa Skala, Vanderbilt University, her work in developing patient-centric models for treating pancreatic cancers, one of the most lethal forms of cancer. By the time of diagnosis, patients are typically late stage with only 6-24 months to live. This leaves very little time for the typical trial-and-error approach for finding the optimum medication for treating an individual patient's tumor.
In Skala's approach, biological tumor samples are used to create "tumors-in-a-dish," also called organoids, which are optically accessible. A panel of drug treatments is given to the set of organoids, and optical metabolic imaging (OMI) is performed to assess the efficacy of each drug, thereby rapidly determining the optimum treatment regimen for the particular patient from whom the organoids were derived.
Looking closer at the beating heart in vivo
While there is a "critical need to better understand how hearts are injured," during acute heart attacks, said Aaron Aguirre of MGH/Harvard, imaging hearts in vivo to observe has traditionally presented the problem of severe motion artifacts.
Tissue stabilizers such as tissue bonding and suction can be used for the mechanical immobilization during imaging. However, this only reduces motion artifacts. To achieve cellular/subcellular resolution of the beating heart, Aguirre has focused on perfecting gating algorithms that synchronize a laser scanning microscope with the heartbeat of the animal. Images are reconstructed based on knowledge of the cardiac cycle phase, allowing subcellular resolution videos of beating hearts to be captured motion-artifact free.
The videos can be used to observe changes in blood flow, perfusion, or contractual function of heart cells during myocardial infarction events, in addition to enhancing efficacy of drug delivery intended to prevent cell death.
Overcoming depth and contrast limitations of OCT
David Sampson, University of Western Australia, described efforts to overcome the two limitations known all too well by researchers in the field of biomedical optics: constrained depth penetration through tissue, and insufficient contrast to discern structures. His approach focuses on building and using "microscopes-in-a-needle." These ultrasmall, high-sensitivity microscopes are manipulated inside of tissue to get 3D reconstruction images via optical coherence tomography (OCT).
The needle provides a minimally invasive method to overcome the obstacle of depth penetration. However, a basic physiological problem remains, in achieving enough contrast to distinguish between benign and malignant solid tissue.
Sampson's work enhances contrast by looking at birefringence and stiffness using optical coherence micro-elastography. OCT imaging can be used to guide the researcher or clinician to suspicious solid tissue, and the additional contrast from these metrics can be added to the OCT image to identify possible cancer.
Translating hot ideas to hot topics
Paul Beard of University College London gave interesting insights on how laser-generated acoustic waves aid in large-field-of-view, ultrahigh-speed, high-resolution visualization of the internal structure and function of soft tissues.
Advances in developing novel photoacoustic sensors have included the use High Q factor polymer optical micro-cavity resonators as highly sensitive ultrasound platforms with a very small element size and high spatial resolution. Beard noted that these photoacoustic sensors could also be inexpensively batch fabricated using conventional polymer film deposition techniques and as well be adapted for use in a of devices for fast 2D and 3D imaging in small animals as well as humans.
The next step with the technology would be to build ultrafast laser scanning photoacoustic endoscopic devices as well as develop ultra-fine single fiber photoacoustic microscopy probes by integrating the sensors into fine needles for real-time intravascular imaging.
Seeing the invisible
Jennifer Hunter, University of Rochester, engaged the audience by her talk on how adaptive optics (AO) can aid in "seeing the invisible cells" and revealing retinal microstructures for accurate detect and better understanding of different retinal diseases in vivo.
Hunter told how AO through techniques such as 2-photon fluorescence imaging enables visualization through the retina to look at the back of the eye and see the function and organization individual rods and cones. Fluorescent labelling also aids in imaging many retinal structures like collagen, elastin, and ganglion cells, with increased image contrast.
Hunter said that wavefront sensorless adaptive optics (WSAO) as a developing technology should enable high-resolution imaging of the retina, giving hope to measure retinal function objectively at a physiological level, to see exactly what each cell is doing.
Stimulated nonlinear coherent microscopy for improved imaging
Eric Potma, University of California, Irvine, demonstrated how stimulated nonlinear coherent microscopy techniques can aid in improving the contrast in nonlinear microscopy imaging of biological tissues and structures.
Stimulated emission is the process by which an incoming photon of a specific frequency can interact with an excited atomic electron (or other excited molecular state), causing it to drop to a lower energy level. As an interference phenomenon, Potma noted that it is not ordinary interference, but the interference of the pathways.
He showed several illustrations on how stimulated emission pumping would impact the contrast and spatial resolution of current state-of-the-art nonlinear microscopy systems like Raman scattering microscopy, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy, and sum frequency generation (SFG) microscopy.
The results from stimulation can be dramatic, Potma noted, but the boost from stimulation is different for different techniques.
Vision lights the way for cancer treatment
A marketing class sparked appreciation of the role of vision in commercializing technology for Heather Franklin, President and CEO of Blaze BioScience, Inc. Today, she brings that realization into development of fluorescent markers that may lead to improved intra-operative visualization of brain tumors.
Franklin described how "bringing light to cancer" by "painting' tumors improves cancer surgery results by providing real-time, high-resolution visualization of cancer cells throughout the surgical procedure. The company's first Tumor Paint product, BLZ-100, has applications in imaging brain and skin cancer lesions that are as small as 0.5 mm.
Franklin urged to biophotonics researchers to engage as a community in taking the hot ideas presented at the conference to translating them into the hot topics for tomorrow.
BiOS Expo has the latest for imaging, sensing, more
The BiOS Expo opened on Saturday featuring more than 210 companies showing the latest in technologies and applications for imaging, diagnostics and therapeutics, along with biosensors and other biomedical devices, components, instrumentation, and systems; above, the Elite Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., booth.
See more photos from the exhibition in the SPIE Photonics West photo gallery.
Bridging the gap: new conferences
Conference 9720 session chair Mark Foster, left, and
conference cochair Keisuke Goda are among
organizers of new conferences this year.
Two new conferences at BiOS address challenges that come with massive amounts of biomedical data and with members of the research and engineering communities who don't always take note of each other's research.
Biophysics, Biology and Biophotonics: The Crossroads (9719) topics range from optical trapping and macromolecular crowding to light-sheet imaging, label-free nanoscale sensing, and physiological imaging techniques that study metabolism and blood supply.
"The idea is to serve as a bridge between the biological community and the engineering community," said conference cochair Vadim Backman, (Northwestern University).
Organizers of High-Speed Biomedical Imaging: Toward Big Data Instrumentation and Management (9720) seek to bring together researchers who specialize in real‐time optical bioinstrumentation, big-data management, and high‐speed signal processing, said Edmund Lam (University of Hong Kong).
Elizabeth Hillman, Columbia University,
presents her invited paper "High-speed
light sheet imaging of in-vivo brain function
with scape microscopy" (9720-24).
From Raman spectroscopy and fluorescence detection to photoacoustic microscopy and image cytometry, optical instrumentation that enables real-time capture and analysis of biomedical data has become invaluable for applications ranging from cancer detection to drug discovery.
Progressively larger biomedical datasets are required for efficient and ccurate data analysis to make better decisions in life science research and clinical diagnosis, but analyzing and managing this data is challenging.
Neurophotonics and BRAIN advances
The newly organized BiOS program on Neurophotonics, Neurosurgery, and Optogenetics (9690), chaired by Rafael Yuste (Columbia University), includes conferences on neural imaging and sensing; optogenetics and optical manipulation; and clinical and translational neurophotonics.
Each of these areas is a major focus of attention right now, in part because of the U.S. government's BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, which has positioned neuroscience as one of the key scientific challenges of the age.
Leadership and the next generation
From leflt, Egor Gurvitz, ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia; Teboho Bell, National Laser Center, South Africa; Jan Hahn, Lazer Zentrum Hannover, Germany; and Ahmad Bassam Muhammad, American University in Cairo Chapter, Egypt
Over 40 SPIE chapter leaders representing 20 countries from around the world attended the half-day SPIE Student Chapter Leadership Workshop on Saturday. Effective motivation, persuasion and negotiations, professional development, student chapter problem solving, and SPIE Student Chapter news and benefits were hot topics.
All photos © SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, except where noted.
Contributors: Jacqueline Andreozzi, Stacey Crockett, Rich Donnelly, Kathy Kincade, Tim Lamkins, Amy Nelson, Courtney Rambo, Adam Resnick, Kathy Sheehan, Khushi Vyas