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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

Gabriel Popescu plenary talk: Bridging Molecular and Cellular Biology with Optics

Presented at SPIE Photonics West 2015

5 March 2015, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201503.18

Gabriel Popescu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA)Understanding the structure and function of living cells from the nano to the micron scale remains a grand challenge. While X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy reveal nanoscale information from cellular structures, they operate with lifeless specimens. By contrast, optical techniques are well suitable for studying live cells. However, the resolution of the far-field "linear" microscopy is approximately 300 nm, a manifestation of Heisenberg's uncertainty relation. Thus, pushing the biophotonics investigation toward the molecular scale is faced with significant challenges but also with unique opportunities.

This plenary session describes various principles dedicated to this goal and presents some recent advances in phase sensitive measurements.

Gabriel Popescu is an associate professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received a BS and MS in physics from the University of Bucharest (Romania) in 1995 and 1996, respectively, and a PhD in optics from the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers at the University of Central Florida in 2002. He is an SPIE Fellow and a senior member of the Optical Society of America. He founded Phi Optics Inc., a company developing quantitative phase imaging technology for materials and life-science applications.