BIOPHOTONICS: Bio is key theme at upcoming Laser, World of Photonics

May 1, 2009
“Both the Laser show and the World of Photonics Congress have specifically extended their biophotonics and life-sciences sections this year,” said Klaus Dittrich, managing director of Germany’s Munich fairgrounds (Messe Mü nchen International).

“Both the Laser show and the World of Photonics Congress have specifically extended their biophotonics and life-sciences sections this year,” said Klaus Dittrich, managing director of Germany’s Munich fairgrounds (Messe Mü nchen International). Dittrich’s group organizes the biennial “Laser, World of Photonics” conference and exhibition, one of the world’s largest photonics events, which holds its 19th “anniversary” event June 15-18.

Biophotonics and life sciences is a key theme this year, and a focus on this and other applications is one of the changes planned for the event. Speaking at a press conference in March, Dittrich said biophotonics represents an important and trendsetting technology segment that’s expected to drive new markets in the future.

The event overall is experiencing a clear growth trend, Dittrich said. He noted that the number of exhibiting firms and average booth size have both increased. To accommodate the more than 1000 companies and approximately 25,000 visitors expected, the convention center will open an additional 10,000 m2 of exhibit space and a fourth exhibit hall bringing the total space to 42,000 m2.

The conference component

The international event will feature more than 2300 lectures and presentations organized under seven umbrella conferences. At the basic science level is CLEO/Europe-IQEC, organized by the European Physical Society (EPS), the Optical Society of America (OSA), and IEEE/LEOS. With a more applied orientation are Medical Laser Applications–organized by the German Association for Laser Medicine (DGLM); and the European Conference on Biomedical Optics–organized by SPIE Europe and the OSA.

Erich Ippen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) opens CLEO/Europe-IQEC 2009 with a plenary talk entitled “Femtosecond Optics: More Than Just Really Fast,” which highlights applications of ultrafast pulses. In an invited paper, Stefan Hell of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Goettingen, Germany) discusses far-field optical nanoscopy and its applications in biology and the physical sciences.

The biomedical optics conferences (ECBO 2009) range from basic science sessions to application-oriented presentations and cover topics such as advanced microscopy, clinical and biomedical spectroscopy, molecular imaging, optical coherence tomography and coherence techniques, therapeutic laser applications and laser-tissue interactions among others. The ECBO 2009 plenary–”Bridging the Ocean of Biomedical Optics”–includes two speakers: Jerome Mertz from Boston University discusses new techniques for out-of-focus background rejection, and Vasilis Ntziachristos from the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging, Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, discusses emerging mesoscopic and macroscopic photonic imaging.

Frontiers in Electronic Imaging is chaired by Peter Seitz from the University of Neuchatel and Vice President Nanomedicine, CSEM Nanomedicine, Landquart (Switzerland). He says that this conference is devoted to the most relevant and promising fields of electronic imaging: application-specific image sensors (using smart pixels and related approaches), high-performance real-time 3-D imaging, electronic imaging with novel materials, and single-photon, solid-state image sensing.

A “Tech Focus” session from the CLEO–Lasers in Manufacturing (LIM) partnership covers fiber lasers and amplifiers. It’s jointly chaired by David Richardson from the Optoelectronics Research Center at the University of Southampton (England) and Frank Vollertsen of the Bremer Institut fü r angewandte Strahltechnik (BIAS; Germany). Speakers from Coherent, IPG Photonics, Nufern, and SPI Lasers among others will discuss technical trends and market developments in the field.

Exhibits and application panels

The four exhibit halls will house an incredible array of photonics components and systems, including numerous new products. To name just a few, Toptica Photonics (Graefelfing, Germany) plans to introduce ultrafast fiber and diode lasers. Taufenbach (Kiel, Germany) plans to show what it claims is the world’s smallest sealed-off CO2 laser. Hamamatsu (Herrsching, Germany) will exhibit, among its wide range of devices, a high-speed compact hybrid photodetector and a thumb-size miniature spectrometer for color management.

Also on the exhibit floor, a number of Application Panels will each comprise an application-oriented presentation by an industry expert, followed by discussion. The series offers a “mixed bag” of subjects–among them new developments in solid-state laser technology and biophotonics .–Stephen G. Anderson

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