Patience, persistence, financing required for translation of research into application
|Medical laser technologies provide a flow of new light-based treatments, but the process to clinical acceptance includes multiple barriers; above, fluorescence used to identify cancer tissue during surgery (Fig. 4. R. Sroka, et al., doi:10.1117/1.JBO.20.6.061110)
BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA, and CARDIFF, UK -- The dynamic field of medical laser applications continually offers new systems and techniques enabling less invasive or more targeted treatments. But the path from the lab to the clinic can be slowed by "a multiplicity of barriers" requiring patience, persistence, and financial support, note authors of an article published today in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.
In "Medical laser application -- translation into the clinics," Ronald Sroka, Laser-Forschungslabor, Hospital of Munich University, and his co-authors detail the path to successful implementation with examples of promising technologies and their translation into acceptance in the medical community.
At technical conferences, unmet clinical needs and detailed requests from clinicians are discussed and innovative techniques are introduced, say the authors in detailing the path.
Subsequent research is informed by this interchange of ideas, and includes technicians and companies whose contributions are indispensable in developing prototypes and initiating clinical trials.
Only after clinical testing and comparison with established nonoptical clinical procedures can the positive or negative impact of new biophotonic technologies be assessed - another of the barriers that must be worked through before achieving full acceptance in the medical community.
Technology examples noted in the paper include:
The article appears in a special section titled "Light for Life" celebrating the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL2015) and paralleling a dedicated session at the at the European Conference on Biomedical Optics (ECBO) running 21-25 June in Munich. Journal of Biomedical Optics publisher SPIE is a Founding Sponsor of the IYL2015 and a sponsor of ECBO.
Special section guest editors are Katarina Svanberg (Lund University Hospital), Rainer Leitgeb (Medical University of Vienna), Nirmala Ramanujam (Duke University), Jürgen Popp (Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology Jena and Friedrich-Schiller University Jena), and Peter Andersen (Technical University of Denmark).
Lihong Wang of Washington University in St. Louis is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biomedical Optics. The journal is published in print and digitally in the SPIE Digital Library, which contains more than 425,000 articles from SPIE journals, proceedings, and books, with approximately 18,000 new research papers added each year. Abstracts are freely searchable, and an increasing number of full journal articles are published with open access.
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2014. www.spie.org
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