Research highlights from the record-setting BiOS, LASE, MOEMS-MEMS, OPTO, and Green Photonics symposia at SPIE Photonics West in January include innovative applications of green energy sources, efficient lighting, and laser-assisted manufacturing; a new, noninvasive diagnostic technique using diode laser spectroscopy on newborns; and papers presented by competitors in two startup challenges.
Prize-winning research and other notable papers from Photonics West are available in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as proceedings manuscripts are approved by conference chairs.
Best papers in green photonics research
Noting that photonics pervades all areas of modern life, Green Photonics chairman and SPIE Fellow Steve Eglash of Stanford University (USA) presented “best paper” awards in four green photonics categories:
Awards for MOEMS-MEMS research
MOEMS-MEMS chair Harald Schenk of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany) and co-chair David Dickensheets of Montana State University (USA), presented three best paper awards, including one for student researchers at SPIE Photonics West.
The student award, sponsored by Vuzix, went to Daniel Cole and SPIE student member Daniel McAdams of University of Pittsburgh (USA) for “Using a dwell-time increase to compensate for SLM pixelation-limited diffraction efficiency in DMHL.”
With cash prizes from sponsor Dyoptyka, MOEMS-MEMS best paper awards were also presented to SPIE member Myun-Sik Kim and colleagues at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) for “Axial phase measurements of light interacting with microstructures” and to SPIE member Peter Buck of Toppan Photomasks (USA) for “Programmed resist sidewall profiles using sub-resolution binary gray-scale masks for Si-photonics applications,” a paper he coauthored with Ofir Gan et al.
Biophotonics and Optoelectronic Startup Challenges
Seventeen aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their ideas in the Biophotonics Startup Challenge, a competition sponsored by Jenoptik Optical Systems.
The first-place winner was Carlos Serpa (Portugal). SPIE members Babak Shadgan (Canada), Scott Rowe (USA), and Daniel Gareau (USA) took second place and tied for third, respectively.
Winning projects included new methods for drug delivery, macular pigment measurement, cancer detection, and noninvasive bladder dysfunction diagnosis.
Judges for the competition were Wellington Chadehumbe of Triumph Venture Capital (South Africa), Jay Kumler of Jenoptik (USA) and the SPIE Board of Directors, SPIE Fellow Adam Wax of Duke University (USA), and SPIE Senior Member Jason Eichenholz of Ocean Optics (USA).
Judges and winners of the Biophotonics Startup Challenge.
The winners of this competition and the Optoelectronics Startup Challenge are sponsored to attend a week-long Entrepreneurship Academy at the University of California, Davis (USA).
Winners of the Optoelectronics Startup Challenge, also held at SPIE Photonics West were:
Judges for that competition were Chadehumbe, SPIE member Michael Mielke of Raydiance (USA), and SPIE Fellow Marc Himel of Jenoptik.
Presentations on biomedical advances
Among presentations on biomedical optics advances:
Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University (USA) is contributing to development of new tools for real-time study and treatment of conditions such as anxiety, autism, narcolepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. Optogenetic methods enable control of cell function, provide information about the tissue, and allow much greater precision than electrical stimulation.
A team led by SPIE Senior Member Aydogan Ozcan at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA), has developed a portable microscope that uses a cell phone as a wireless platform for transmitting medical data. The system has important applications in remote areas for diagnosing conditions such as malaria. Using holographic imaging, the method is capable of providing 1- to 2-micron resolution over a wide field provided by the CMOS imaging array.
Researchers Sune Svanberg and others from Skåne University Hospital and Lund University (Sweden) reported on a new monitoring method for premature and full-term newborn babies. The technique is the first application of noninvasive diode laser spectroscopy to assess gas content in the intestines and the lungs of a newborn baby. The assessment will provide valuable information about a newborn’s ability to breathe and to digest milk or formula, without the need for blood tests or other invasive procedures.
Their case study on noninvasive gas monitoring in newborn infants is “the first in vivo example of noninvasive diode laser spectroscopy, typically used to characterize isolated gas phase systems, applied to clinical diagnostics,” says Bruce Tromberg, director of the Laser Microbeam and Medical Program at the Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine. “Conventional clinical diagnostics require sampling of body fluids which are particularly difficult to access in neonates.”
Guillermo Tearney of Massachusetts General Hospital (USA) reported on new applications of cardiovascular imaging that combines optical coherence tomography (OCT) and near-IR fluorescence imaging (NIRF).
Warren Warren of Duke University (USA) reported on a new laser-based imaging system expected to enable more accurate results in melanoma diagnosis. His work involves two-color, pump-probe imaging of tissue samples that yields more accurate high-resolution information than current systems provide.
Stefan Hell of Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie (Germany) described a new method for obtaining images that show changes over time in living organs and other tissues, with important applications in heart and brain disease as well as HIV infection. The method employs stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED) and provides molecule-scale resolution with visible light.
Best presentations on fiber lasers
NKT Photonics, Fianium, and PolarOnyx sponsored prizes for best student oral presentations at the Fiber Lasers conference at SPIE Photonics West.
Presentations receiving prizes were:
More optics and photonics research highlights from SPIE
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