A look through the technical program for this year’s Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO; www.cleoconference.org) serves to highlight the increasing importance of research directed at biological imaging. Besides the Plenary Session “Optical Imaging of Stem Cell Fates and Function” by Christopher Contag of Stanford University, there are many other related papers throughout the conference. In the session on Emerging Microscopy Techniques, one paper discusses making holographic movies of animal cells. Another method for the visualization and recording of live specimens involves combining spectral imaging and confocal microscopy and is described on page 87. Detecting and visualizing biological events in cells often involves the use of benign intracellular fluorescent tags.
A novel fluorescent probe has been developed based on quantum dots, and its extended lifetime promises to allow monitoring of nuclear trafficking mechanisms in real time (see p. 52).
Of course, with more than 1500 sessions and tutorials scheduled, CLEO attendees will find much more than just bioimaging-an impressive array of papers presents numerous advances from the forefront of photonics R&D. Two sessions discuss surface-emitting lasers-of interest because of their potential for wafer-scale production with concomitant lower cost than their edge-emitting counterparts. Meeting the challenge to produce higher powers has led to a variety of surface-emitting-laser configurations, including a higher-power grating-coupled design (see p. 143). And the promise of lower cost has made surface-emitters interesting to those seeking low-cost laser sources for volume applications such as displays (see p. 97). Two other CLEO sessions address current advances in fiber lasers, which are also the subject of this month’s Optoelectronics World supplement that follows page 108.
And if you get bored with the technical sessions at CLEO, don’t forget to stop by the exhibit hall-about 300 companies will be exhibiting, including Laser Focus World. We hope to see you there!