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  • Biophotonics 4 EU

Mar 2013

A fter four years of European Union funding, Photonics4Life (P4L), the biophotonics platform uniting the region’s researchers, industry and clinicians to collaborate and advance the discipline, is moving forward on its own, according to a news release from the European Commission/CORDIS.

To date, the group has funded more than 34 yearlong “feasibility” projects, including the use of Raman spectroscopy for noninvasive cancer detection and diagnosis as well as the continuous monitoring of brain oxygenation in preterm babies. An important aspect of these projects from the outset has been the involvement of end users, to ensure clinical relevance.

As P4L moves forward, networking events, an annual summer school and other important programs will continue. The organization also will appear at the World of Photonics Congress and the European Conference on Biomedical Optics in Munich in May.

Inside this issue

In our cover story, regular contributor Marie Freebody investigates what’s behind the pharmaceutical industry’s lagging adoption of the latest optical methods and instrumentation. In her article, “Pharmacy Regulations Stalling Uptake of Optical Spectroscopy,” she writes that part of the problem could be the increasingly rigorous regulations that drug companies face. Read the feature beginning on page 22.

Also in this issue, Dr. Kevin K. Tsia of the University of Hong Kong offers a possible solution to the “speed vs. sensitivity” limitations of optical microscopy and spectroscopy in his article, “Optical Time-Stretch Brings Diagnostics to a New Timescale,” beginning on page 26.

In “Two Modalities Are Better Than One,” news editor Gary Boas explains researchers’ interest in combining optical imaging with other modalities, including x-ray and digital breast tomosynthesis, for example, to get both high spatial resolution and high image contrast. The feature starts on page 32.

To many, growing human replacement organs still seems like the stuff of science fiction, but tissue engineering research is on the rise and may now be getting a boost from laser-based fabrication, according to authors Szabolcs Beke and Fernando Brandi of the Italian Institute of Technology. In “Laser-Based Process Rapidly Fabricates Implants,” beginning on page 36, the authors describe how a new method will advance stereolithography from rapid prototyping to actual production of 3-D biodegradable scaffolds.

Finally, Mark A. Browne of Andor Technologies, and Suvrajit Saha and Satyajit Mayor of India’s National Center for Biological Sciences explain how a spinning-disk confocal anisotropy (SpiDA) configuration overcomes issues with other methods to enable molecular-level studies of living cells. Read the full story beginning on page 39.

Enjoy the issue, and please send us your comments.

raman spectroscopy
That branch of spectroscopy concerned with Raman spectra and used to provide a means of studying pure rotational, pure vibrational and rotation-vibration energy changes in the ground level of molecules. Raman spectroscopy is dependent on the collision of incident light quanta with the molecule, inducing the molecule to undergo the change.  
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