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Infectious diseases continue to rank high among global mortality factors. Over 95% of the mortality caused by infections is due to the lack of proper diagnosis and treatment. A definite diagnosis of infections can only be obtained by culture and/or molecular detection, which often requires tissue biopsy. This invasive diagnostic procedure takes many hours or even several days to yield an answer, and, sometimes, it is not even possible to obtain a representative biopsy. The inability of physicians to characterize infections at the point of care has led to the wide overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics and, subsequently, the development of antibiotic resistance by pathogens. The rise of antibiotic resistance has furthermore exponentially complicated the choice of the treatment. Many physicians are concerned that several infections soon may be untreatable. In 2020, the United States government announced the National Action for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 2020-2025, in which it is noted that new diagnostics and therapeutics are urgently needed to combat emerging and reemerging antibiotic-resistant pathogens. On the global level, the G20 heads of state and government decided in 2017 to create a joint collaboration platform - the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub, or Global AMR R&D Hub.

Prominent among innovative and non-antibiotic therapeutic approaches are photonic (optics-, light-based) technologies, including antimicrobial photodynamic therapy, antimicrobial blue light, ultraviolet C radiation, light-based vaccination, etc. The most attractive advantages of photonic antimicrobial therapeutics lie in their ability to eradicate pathogens regardless of antibiotic resistance and in the fundamental improbability of pathogens themselves developing resistance to these photonic therapeutics due to the rather non-specific nature of the targets. In addition, rapid, accurate, and noninvasive diagnosis of infections using photonic strategies, such as Raman and infrared spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, plasmonics, etc., could play an important role by informing treatment during the critical initial window (< 3 hours) and potentially save lives; and monitoring the response of antimicrobial therapy will lead to therapeutic approaches adapted on the patient’s response, and, thus, personalized medicine.

This conference emphasizes the photonic diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for infections and inflammatory diseases. Technical and scientific papers related to advanced photonic diagnostic, monitoring, prevention, and therapeutic technologies that push beyond the scope of the state-of-the-art in basic science and clinical practice are solicited. These include, but are not limited to:

Photonic diagnosis and monitoring of infections and inflammatory diseases
Photonic prevention and treatment of infections and inflammatory diseases ;
In progress – view active session
Conference 11939

Photonic Diagnosis, Monitoring, Prevention, and Treatment of Infections and Inflammatory Diseases 2022

In person: 22 January 2022
View Session ∨
  • 1: Diagnosis I
  • 2: Diagnosis II
  • 3: Antimicrobial Phototherapy I
  • 4: Antimicrobial Phototherapy II
  • Posters


  • Submissions are accepted through 06-December
  • Notification of acceptance by 20-December

View Call for Papers PDF Flyer
Session 1: Diagnosis I
Session Chair: Jürgen Popp, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Author(s): Yanfang Feng, Shoaib Ashraf, Tayyaba Hasan, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
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Rapid and accurate diagnosis and subtyping of bacterial carbapenemases are urgently needed due to the increasing prevalence of carbapenem-resistant bacterial infections. By mixing bacteria with a fluorescent probe, β-LEAF (β-lactamase enzyme activated fluorophore), together with three β-lactamase inhibitors ( imipenem for noncarbapenemase β-lactamases, clavulanic acid for type A carbapenemases, and EDTA for type B carbapenemase), we developed a FIBA (Fluorescence Identification of β-Lactamase Activity) platform, which can generate a 95% - 100% sensitivity and specificity for carbapenemase diagnosis and classification within 10 minutes by a single mixing step. FIBA could significantly aid the control and treatment of carbapenem-resistant bacterial infections.
Author(s): Anja Silge, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
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This presentation highlights our resent efforts to make the unique advantages of Raman spectroscopy accessible for next generation antimicrobial sensitivity testing (AST). Reliable antibiotic resistance diagnostics is defined by EUCAST and CLSI guidelines and requires phenotyping testing which is still costly, time- and labor intensive. The connection between on-site sample preparation, Raman spectroscopic and microscopic read out of the antimicrobial sensitivity and data pipelines for diagnostic information provide a streamlined and innovative AST strategy to manage the dynamic nature of the antibiotic crises.
Author(s): Colin J. Potter, Zhen Xiong, Euan McLeod, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
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Biodetection of inflammatory and disease-related targets is achieved using a portable quantitative large-area binding (QLAB) sensor. This sensor utilizes lens-free holographic microscopy, computational image processing involving pixel super-resolution, a custom LED array and microfluidic chip, and automated feature quantification algorithm to detect microbead agglutination in the presence of a target molecule or pathogen in solution. Here, we discuss a recent application involving biodetection of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in solution where the QLAB sensor achieved a sensitivity of < 3 ng/mL We also discuss current work using this technology to sense SARS-CoV-2 in a point-of-care setting.
Author(s): Alice Iles, Peijun He, Ioannis Katis, Panagiotis Galanis, Jessica Teeling, Robert Eason, Collin Sones, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
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Alzheimer’s disease is caused by neurodegeneration resulting in cognitive decline, that has been linked to heightened systemic inflammation. Identification of the characteristic amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques in the brain is either by positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging or through its measurement in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A minimally invasive, cost-effective test that measures blood-based biomarker could predict the onset of Alzheimer’s earlier and therefore start therapies to improve patient prognosis. To this end, we have developed lateral-flow tests that measure vascular biomarkers, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 and have validated their clinical use with serum samples.
Session 2: Diagnosis II
Session Chair: Anja Silge, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Author(s): Mei X. Wu, Zuan-Tao Lin, Yifei Kong, Harvard Medical School (United States)
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Bacterial and viral infections cannot be diagnosed promptly in emergency cares leading to unnecessary antibiotic use, which is one of the major factors for the increased development of antibiotic resistance. Here, we engineer a microneedle array (MNA)-based onsite measurement of multiple blood biomarkers that are induced specifically by either a viral infection or bacterial infection so that bacterial infections can be distinguished from viral infections without the need for identifying the specific pathogens. The MNA can measure procalcitonin (PCT), IFNα2a, C-reactive protein (CRP), and negative control albumin. A rise of PCT, not IFNα2a, suggests bacterial infection, whereas an increase of IFNα2a indicates viral infection. CRP is the surrogate biomarker for inflammation. The MNA-based onsite detection holds promise for accurately blood sampling in a minimally invasive manner and detecting multiple biomarkers in a single MNA
Author(s): Yisha Tang, Sartanee Suebka, Adley Gin, The Univ. of Arizona (United States); Phuong-Diem Nguyen, Wyant College of Optical Sciences (United States); Soo-Kyung Kim, William Goddard, Caltech (United States); Judith Su, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
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Vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic are limited and so effective drugs are needed. The binding affinity of several SARS-CoV-2 variants to human ACE2 receptors was measured using a frequency-locked optical whispering evanescent resonator (FLOWER) system. The advantage of FLOWER is that it is label-free and so drug candidates do not need to be labeled and it is ultra-sensitive so drugs over a wide range of binding affinities can be tested. The dissociation equilibrium constants of spike-RBD wild type as well as two variants, were analyzed and compared. Several drug candidates which inhibit the spike-RBD binding to ACE2, predicted by in-silico simulation, were screened using a competitive binding assay and the corresponding inhibitor constants were measured.
Author(s): Mohesh Moothanchery, Amalina Binte Ebrahim Attia, Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging (IBB) (Singapore); Yew Yik Weng, National Skin Ctr. Pte. Ltd. (Singapore); Xiuting Li, Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging (IBB) (Singapore); Steven Thng, National Skin Ctr. Pte. Ltd. (Singapore); Dinish U.S., Malini Olivo, Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging (IBB) (Singapore)
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Current diagnosis of atopic dermatitis (AD) and assessment of its severity is typically carried out by direct visual inspection of the skin. These types of physician reported assessments is subjective and prone to intra and inter observer variations. Ability to monitor the oxygenation status in microvasculature plays an important role in disease diagnosis. Here, using a novel multispectral optoacoustic mesoscopy system, oxygenation changes in the skin microvasculature of AD patients was monitored. Reconstructed images were unmixed for intrinsic chromophores. We observed an increasing trend for sO2 in the lesional region of AD patient compared to non-lesional and health volunteer.
Session 3: Antimicrobial Phototherapy I
Session Chair: Timothy M. Baran, Univ. of Rochester Medical Ctr. (United States)
Author(s): Pu-Ting Dong, The Forsyth Institute (United States); Sebastian Jusuf, Jie Hui, Yuewei Zhan, Yifan Zhu, Boston Univ. (United States); George Y. Liu, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States); Ji-Xin Cheng, Boston Univ. (United States)
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Catalase from the most aerobic bacteria could be inactivated by blue light exposure, especially at 410 nm. Photoinactivation of catalase severely deprived these pathogens off their protection shield, thus rendering bacteria highly susceptible to reactive oxygen species attack. Specifically, bacteria become at least six orders of magnitude more sensitive towards hydrogen peroxide after photoinactivation of catalase. Photoinactivation of catalase also boosts macrophage killing of intracellular MRSA and P. aeruginosa, lowers the bacterial burden in a P. aeruginosa-induced mice abrasion model. Collectively, our findings offer a novel approach against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.
Author(s): Marin Saiga, Kazuhiko Misawa, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)
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In our previous study, we found that femtosecond pulsed laser can inactivate bacteria more effectively than continuous wave light with UV-C irradiation. We hypothesized that the mechanism of enhanced bacterial inactivation by femtosecond pulsed laser is caused by a nonlinear optical effect due to the high peak intensity. In this experiment, we performed an experiment to compare the bacterial inactivation as the irradiation intensity was varied. This comparative experiment revealed, in the case of UV-C irradiation, that bacterial inactivation effect was the same regardless of the peak intensity and a nonlinear effect of bacterial inactivation does not be confirmed.
Author(s): Antonietta Saggese, Valentina Serafini, Aurora Bellone, Politecnico di Torino (Italy); Martina Riva, Alitec S.r.l. (Italy); Ivana Fenoglio, Chiara Riganti, Univ. degli Studi di Torino (Italy); Gabriella Motta, Alitec S.r.l. (Italy); Guido Perrone, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
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The paper presents the preliminary results of STELLAR, a project funded by the Italian Ministry of Research and devoted to the study of a new tool that synergically combines the disinfection effects of far UVC light generated by frequency doubling of blue light and the photodynamic effects of the residual blue light. The system has been tested in simulated air and water disinfection applications, especially considering the case of water contaminated by E. coli, which has been chosen for its common presence and the relative resistance to UV disinfection.
Author(s): Jace A. Willis, Vsevolod Cheburkanov, Shaorong Chen, Texas A&M Univ. (United States); Giulia Kassab, Jennifer M. Soares, Instituto de Física de São Carlos (Brazil), Univ. de São Paulo (Brazil); Vanderlei S. Bagnato, Instituto de Física de São Carlos (Brazil), Univ. de São Paulo (Brazil), Texas A&M Univ. (United States); Paul de Figueiredo, Vladislav V. Yakovlev, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
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Antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (aPDT) in combination with antibiotics leads to a significant reduction in antibiotic minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Four National Institute of Standards and Technology resistant bacterial strains are evaluated with four antibiotics in a combination treatment with aPDT. Treatment involves co-culture of antibiotics with 1.0 μM MB and exposure to 0 to 18 J/cm^2 of light over 0 to 10 minutes in two-minute intervals. MIC of test groups is compared to controls to evaluate direct effects on resistance during treatment and further aPDT controls are used to evaluate measures of synergistic effect based on fractional inhibitory concentration index.
Session 4: Antimicrobial Phototherapy II
Session Chair: Mei X. Wu, Harvard Medical School (United States)
Author(s): Leon G. Leanse, Carolina dos Anjos, Tianhong Dai, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
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Antimicrobial resistance has necessitated the investigation of novel approaches to prolong the use of conventional antibiotics. We hypothesized that using the innovative ‘drug-free’ approach, antimicrobial blue light (aBL), which is a selective generator of ROS in bacteria, we can exploit increases in intracellular ROS to synergize to conventional antibiotics, given that they share a parallel pathway of bactericidal activity. Studies from our group have also suggested the adjuvant potential of aBL that may further promote the effectiveness of antibiotics. Here, we explored the synergistic and adjuvant effects of aBL using different antibiotic classes against bacteria, in vitro and in vivo.
Author(s): Jie Hui, Laisa Bonafim Negri, Joshua Tam, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States), Massachusetts General Hospital (United States), Harvard Medical School (United States); Tianhong Dai, Jeffrey A. Gelfand, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States), Harvard Medical School (United States), Vaccine and Immunotherapy Ctr., Massachusetts General Hospital (United States); Seok-Hyun Andy Yun, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States), Massachusetts General Hospital (United States), Harvard Medical School (United States)
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Bacterial wound infection is common, especially for chronic wounds, which impedes wound healing and can further leads to life-threatening complications e.g. sepsis, amputation and death. Topical antimicrobials and systematic antibiotics, although sometime essential, are not justified for routine use on contaminated or infected wounds. Taking advantage of its drug-free broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect without resistance development, antimicrobial blue light (aBL) is emerging as an appealing alternative. However, to translate aBL for clinical wound infection management, its application scenario and treatment regimen are yet to be established. Here, we investigated its antimicrobial effects on common wound pathogens in vitro and ex vivo in terms of illumination time, power density and targeted infection stages to identify its application scenario and treatment regimen.
Author(s): Carolina dos Anjos, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States)
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In this study, we first evaluated the effectiveness of antimicrobial blue light (aBL) in vitro against Vibrio vulnificus in planktonic and biofilm cultures. In addition, we assessed aBL for the prevention of potentially lethal burn infections caused by Vibrio vulnificus in mice. We found that aBL was highly effective in killing V. vulnificus in both planktonic and biofilm cultures. Moreover, aBL significantly reduced the bacterial burden in infected mouse burns and reduced the rate of fatal sepsis in mice.
Author(s): Laisa Negri, William Farinelli, Sandeep Korupolu, Jie Hui, Josh Tam, Seok-Hyun Yun, Jeffrey Gelfand, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
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Antimicrobial blue light (aBL) is used to combat biofilm infections. We investigated the capacity of Vitamin K3 (menadione) as an adjuvant to potentiate aBL killing of bacteria in biofilms. We measured bacterial killing of MRSA in biofilms by menadione in the dark (no killing) and by varying dosimetry of aBL (power density: mW/cm2) and radiant exposure (J/cm2). For 48-hour MRSA biofilms, menadione with 250 J/cm2 (50mW/cm2) killed 5.25-log10CFU/mL; aBL alone inactivated 2.13-log10 CFU/mL. ROS production by menadione with aBL was 4-fold more than aBL alone. Menadione significantly potentiates antimicrobial effects of aBL killing of MRSA in biofilms.
Conference attendees are invited to attend the BiOS poster session. Come view the posters, enjoy light refreshments, ask questions, and network with colleagues in your field.

View poster presentation guidelines and set-up instructions at:
Author(s): Pu-Ting Dong, Yuewei Zhan, Sebastian Jusuf, Jie Hui, Boston Univ. (United States); Zeina Dagher, Michael K. Mansour, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
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Catalase plays an essential role in degrading hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is one of the major enzymatic ROS scavenging mechanisms. Here, using wild-type Candida albicans along with its catalase-deficient mutant, we report that catalase inside fungi could be effectively and universally inactivated by blue light 410 nm, subsequently rendering these pathogens extremely sensitive to H2O2 and ROS-generating agents. This strategy could also significantly eradicate multiple notorious clinical Candida strains, including Candida auris. The antimicrobial efficacy of catalase photoinactivation is further validated using immune cell co-culturing system and a Candida albicans-induced mouse model of skin abrasion. Taken together, our findings offer a novel catalase-targeting approach against multidrug-resistant fungal infections.
Author(s): Giane Corrêa Ferreira, Natalia Mayumi Inada, Cristina Kurachi, Vanderlei Salvador Bagnato, Hilde Harb Buzzá, Instituto de Física de São Carlos (Brazil), Univ. de São Paulo (Brazil)
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Photodynamic Inactivation (PDI) has shown good results in in vitro and in vivo models. However, it is still necessary to look for intermediate models to understand and analyze PDI in real-time. In this study, the use of the chorioallantoic membrane model proved to be very efficient for bacterial infection and for understanding the pharmacodynamics of the photosensitizer in a complex biological system.
Author(s): Blaž Cugmas, Univ. of Latvia (Latvia); Jaša Samec, Blaž But, Vets4science (Slovenia); Eva Štruc, Vetamplify, SIA (Latvia); Miha Avberšek, Vets4science (Slovenia)
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Pets can be an important source of antimicrobial-resistance microorganisms. Chromogenic agars for in-clinic use offer bacteria species identification. In our work, we employed machine vision for colony color and size determination. Results showed that E. coli and Ent. faecalis exhibited unique colony colors (red, blue) and sizes. Furthermore, the colony diameter did not change during the entire incubation. On the other hand, staphylococcus colonies were small initially, but their size tripled in the following 24 hours. P. aeruginosa proved to be orange-green. This study showed that our optical system could detect uniquely colored and sized canine and feline bacteria colonies.
Author(s): Zihao Li, Lam Nguyen, David Bass, Timothy M. Baran, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
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We are investigating use of methylene blue photodynamic therapy (MB-PDT) to treat deep tissue abscesses. Monte Carlo simulations incorporating patient-specific CT images (60 subjects) were utilized to examine the effect of optical properties on the generation of patient-specific treatment plans. We investigated the influence of varying abscess wall absorption and Intralipid-induced scattering within the cavity on threshold optical power and eligibility for MB-PDT. When Intralipid concentration and delivered optical power were optimized simultaneously for each patient, eligibility for MB-PDT increased greatly from 42% to 92%, though this was diminished by the presence of absorption within the cavity.
Conference Chair
Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States), Massachusetts General Hospital (United States), Harvard Medical School (United States)
Conference Chair
Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Conference Chair
Harvard Medical School (United States)
Program Committee
Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Program Committee
Univ. of Rochester Medical Ctr. (United States)
Program Committee
UNINOVE (Brazil)
Program Committee
Univ. Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho" (Brazil)
Program Committee
The Forsyth Institute (United States), Harvard School of Dental Medicine (United States)
Program Committee
Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States)
Program Committee
Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell (United States)
Program Committee
Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Program Committee
Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Program Committee
Ute Neugebauer
Universitätsklinikum Jena (Germany)
Program Committee
Univ. of Houston (United States)
Program Committee
Chinese PLA General Hospital (China)
Additional Information