BiOS Symposium dominates Photonics West

January 27, 2009--When a conference hot topics session is packed on a Saturday night from 7 to 9 pm, you know the topic must be exciting. Indeed, the BiOS hot topics session at this year's 2008 Photonics West conference in San Jose, CA began with a high note: the revelation that the quantity of technical papers in the BiOS symposium--more than 1600 papers--represents roughly half of all the papers presented at Photonics West 2008, which includes BiOS, LASE, OPTO, and MOEMS/MEMS Symposia.

January 27, 2009--When a conference hot topics session is packed on a Saturday night from 7 to 9 pm, you know the topic must be exciting. Indeed, the BiOS hot topics session at this year's 2008 Photonics West conference in San Jose, CA began with a high note: the revelation that the quantity of technical papers in the BiOS symposium--more than 1600 papers--represents roughly half of all the papers presented at Photonics West 2008, which includes BiOS, LASE, OPTO, and MOEMS/MEMS Symposia.
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BiOS is organized into five tracks that include Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics; Clinical Technologies and Systems; Tissue Optics, Laser-Tissue Interaction, and Tissue Engineering; Biomedical Spectroscopy, Microscopy, and Imaging; and Nano/Biophotonics. The hot topics session covered nanoscopy with far-field optics (Stefan Hell from the Max-Planck-Institut fur Biophysikalische Chemi), studies in poration that use lasers to open cells for insertion of DNA or other molecules (Kishan Dholakia from the University of St. Andrews), to tracking stem cells in vivo (Charles Lin from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School), OCT and fluorescence spectroscopy for cancer detection (Jennifer Barton from the University of Arizona), and biodegradable silk optics (Fiorenzo Omenetto from Tufts University).

Because the BiOS Symposium has grown so much over the years, it included a two-day exhibition on Saturday and Sunday. With an aging population, the use of photonics in biomedical applications will no doubt weather even the worst economic downturn. And it's a good sign to see so many young people spending a Saturday night improving their knowledge of the laser sources, optical components, and imaging technologies that will help the older people in the crowd live a longer, healthier life.

For more information on applications of photonics to biomedical science, go to www.bioopticsworld.com.

--Posted by Gail Overton, gailo@pennwell.com.

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