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Prism Awards honor innovations in photonics

An augmented-reality laser camera that makes it easier to locate and view veins in the human body was among the nine winners of the 2014 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation announced Feb. 5 at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco.

Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and BioPhotonics publisher Photonics Media, the annual awards recognize photonic products that break with conventional ideas, solve problems for the betterment of society and improve life through the application of light-based technologies.

A panel of 26 expert judges from around the world deliberated over the 27 finalists from nine categories to choose the most influential photonic products of the past year.


Photo courtesy of Doug Cody, Bay Area Photography.

“Our Prism Awards recognize the outstanding products that have emerged from ideas, concepts and the distillation of networking at previous conferences,” said Dr. Eugene G. Arthurs, CEO of SPIE. “More than 21,000 author-researchers contributed to the work presented [this year]. That represents an impressive amount of people-hours – very bright people-hours. Smart, persistent believers ensured that these ideas survived the valleys of desolation and have come to market.”

It is when products result that this enormous intellectual effort makes a real impact, he added. And while photonic technology has an important role in improving quality of life, its applications have a vital economic impact as well.

“It is wonderful to witness the ongoing innovation from companies that have been part of the industry for years, as well as to support the emerging organizations and individuals shaping the future of the photonics industry,” said Laurin Publishing President Thomas F. Laurin. “It is our great pleasure to collaborate annually with SPIE to present the Prism Awards, and we congratulate the 2014 winners and all the finalists.”

The 2014 winners in biophotonics-related categories follow.

Life Sciences and Biophotonics: The AV400 Vein Viewing System from Accuvein of Huntington, N.Y., is a handheld, augmented-reality laser camera that uses IR light to display a real-time map of a person’s internal vasculature on the surface of his or her skin. The device uses hemoglobin’s IR absorption and an arrangement of scanned lasers to detect veins up to 10 mm deep. Minimizing human error, this visible, noninvasive circulatory blueprint allows for trouble-free IV starts, blood draws and a variety of other surgical procedures.

Advanced Manufacturing: The Photonic Professional GT 3-D printer from Nanoscribe of Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany, produces complex structures on the nano/micron scale for research development, and potential industrial applications in optics, medicine, fluidics, electronics and mechanics. The most complex 3-D objects, with feature sizes down to 160 nm, can be manufactured with heights ranging from a few hundred nanometers up to the millimeter range.

Detectors, Sensing, Imaging, and Cameras: The OCTANE (Optical Coherence Tomography Advanced Nanophotonic Engine) 860 from Tornado Spectral Systems of Toronto is a spectrometer on a silicon chip designed for full-featured medical and industrial applications including OCT imaging. It is the first of its kind to do so while harnessing the scalability of integrated optics.

Test, Measurement, Metrology: The MEMS FTIR Spectrometer from Si-Ware Systems of Cairo is the first alignment- and calibration-free, shock-resistant FTIR module on a chip scale. Using a single-chip monolithic Michelson interferometer, the spectrometer contains all optical and mechanical components etched on silicon using standard MEMS fabrication processes. The module can be integrated into a wide variety of systems for qualitative or quantitative materials analysis applications including the environment, health care, agriculture, food and beverage, industrial, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and law enforcement.

The other categories were Defense and Security; Scientific Lasers; Industrial Lasers; Optics and Optical Components; and Other Light Sources.

For a complete listing of winners and more information about them, visit www.photonicsprismawards.org.


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