Bio is major focus of June Laser World of Photonics event in Munich

April 27, 2009--The organizers of the large, biennial trade show LASER 2009 World of PHOTONICS (June 15-18, 2009, Munich, Germany) say this is the first year that the interdisciplinary subject of biophotonics will be a major focal topic at the show. Also known as bio-optics, the field combines lasers and optical technologies with disciplines such as chemistry, biology and medicine.

Apr 27th, 2009

April 27, 2009--The organizers of the large, biennial trade show LASER 2009 World of PHOTONICS(June 15-18, 2009, Munich, Germany) say this is the first year that the interdisciplinary subject of biophotonics (or bio-optics--the combination of lasers and optical technologies with disciplines such as chemistry, biology and medicine) will be a major focal topic at the show.

Both LASER World of PHOTONICS trade fair and the World of Photonics Congress have specifically set aside time and locations to showcase the technology. Research institutes, developers and manufacturers of optical and photonic processes and methods are expected to present their developments and ideas at both events. In addition to a separate exhibition area in Hall B1 and additional displays by exhibitors in other halls at the Munich Trade Fair Center, the World of Photonics Congress will offer a section on biophotonics entitled "Medical Laser Applications". Subjects will include lasers in medicine, optical diagnostics, high-end endoscopy and minimally invasive surgery. The European Conferences on Biomedical Optics will feature a number of talks on biomedical optics, biophotonics, biomedical imaging, diagnostics and therapeutics.

Under the title "Visions for future diagnostics," free application panels will examine the main topic of LASER World of PHOTONICS. Experts from science and industry will exchange information and experiences on current interdisciplinary developments and solutions. They will jointly formulate possible solutions and lay the foundations for future developments.

The organizers explain that after an initial decade and a half of basic research, biophysicists are now developing many optical technologies that allow non-destructive, high-resolution examination of biological specimens, including three-dimensional images. The applications for this new technology include cancer research, non-invasive early medical diagnosis, food and water quality testing, chemical and electromagnetic contamination testing and cell communication. The outcome is more precise diagnoses, treatments and therapies.

Already light- and optics-based processes help detect cancer tumors at an early stage, monitor drinking water quality and test food quality. The processes use laser light to quickly, sensitively, securely and noninvasively analyze biological specimens and is an ideal tool for cellular-level disease research such as cancer or quickly testing a patient for a heart attack.

Market analyses identify bio-optics/biophotonics as a principal market driver in tomorrow's high tech sector. However, its potential requires extensive cooperation between technology developers and users in medicine and life sciences. The LASER trade show is an ideal venue for science and industry to meet and exchange information and experiences from the fields of medicine, biotechnology, environmental technology and nutrition. The World of Photonics Congress will include expert talks as well as the German Federal Research Ministry's presentation on biophotonic applications.

Application examples
Clean water is becoming increasingly important as our society introduces more pollutants into the ecosystem and dwindling water supplies force municipalities to obtain water from less desirable sources. Optical processes facilitate water quality measurement and are able to detect the most minute impurities, triggering further purification and insuring the quality of water.

Biophotonic analysis can identify food that has been contaminated, genetically modified or exposed to radiation. Electron transfer microscopy, laser light scattering and optical probes are just some of the biophotonic methods by which small and minute structures can be detected. These measuring methods can be used to ascertain food toxins or the freshness of meat. Optical technologies are therefore also playing a forward-looking role in the quality control of food.

LASER World of PHOTONICS, launched in 1973, calls itself the world's leading trade fair for optical technologies. It has been staged every two years by Messe München International since 1973. The trade fair is held concurrently with the World of Photonics Congress, the largest photonics conference in Europe, in which the world's leading organizations participate. The sister trade fair LASER World of PHOTONICS China is the leading regional trade fair for optical technologies in China and is held annually in March in Shanghai.

Find out more about the event visit the LASER World of PHOTONICS and the World of Photonics Congress website. For dedicated reporting on the field of biophotonics, see Laser Focus World's sister publication, BioOptics World.

Posted by Barbara G. Goode, barbarag@pennwell.com, for Laser Focus World.

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