BioPhotonics Preview - July/August 2022

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Here is your first look at the editorial content for the upcoming July/August issue of BioPhotonics.


Spectroscopy and Disease

Spectroscopic diagnosis of life-threatening infections - chances and opportunities. The Covid-19 pandemic that has been going on for two years now shows more than clearly how important it is to have reliable, rapid, and on-site diagnostic approaches. This applies to all infectious diseases. The faster and more precisely these can be diagnosed, the earlier targeted therapies can be initiated. Another example is sepsis, where every minute counts to give the right antibiotic tailored to the pathogen. Spectroscopic methods, and here especially Raman spectroscopy, have shown in recent years that they are able to diagnose infections in a timely manner or to answer important questions in this context as part of a point-of-care approach: (1) rapid detection of pathogens, (2) determination of host response, and (3) detection of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In this article, the latest Raman spectroscopy-based approaches for rapid on-site diagnosis of bacterial and viral infections are presented. To translate the presented spectroscopic approaches into medical products, special infrastructures are necessary that offer user-open platforms, for example under the roof of a university hospital, and bundle the expertise of renowned actors from science and industry. Such structures of how translational research could look like in order to successfully overcome the valley of death of clinical translation of proof-of-concept approaches are also introduced.

Key Technologies: Raman spectroscopy

LED-Based Photoacoustic Imaging

Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is a hybrid technique that has shown tremendous potential in a plethora of preclinical and clinical imaging studies. PA imaging offers advantages of both ultrasound (resolution, imaging depth) and optical imaging (multispectral contrast) techniques, making it an ideal solution for structural, functional, and molecular characterization of tissue. Even though the growth of PA imaging in a research setting in recent years is exemplary, clinical translation is not happening at an expected pace, mainly because of the requirement of bulky and expensive lasers for tissue illumination. Recent advances in solid-state devices have resulted in developing portable, affordable, and energy-efficient LED arrays that can be used as an alternative illumination source in PA imaging. After an introduction to PA imaging, and challenges in clinical translation, we will report the potential of LED-based PA imaging in visualizing microvasculature (vascular density, oxygen saturation) with the same image quality as in laser-based systems.

Key Technologies: photoacoustic imaging, LED arrays

Spectroscopy and the Environment

Spectrometers have become smaller, faster, and more powerful, making possible those applications once considered impractical outside the lab. Today’s compact fiber optic spectrometers can be installed directly into an environment to monitor various parameters with more immediacy and flexibility. This has great significance in environmental technology, where testing and monitoring of the natural environment and resources benefit significantly from the ability to make real-time, in situ measurements.

Key Technologies: spectroscopy, fiber optic spectrometers, environmental monitoring

Wearable Optical Technology

Optical wearables can be defined as mobile physiological monitors worn on the body or skin that move with an individual through day-to-day life and utilize photonic components to measure and transmit health data. These devices have moved beyond the reading of essential health data such as heart rate and blood oxygenation to metrics such as glucose and core temperature as their inherent technology has become more advanced, moving from basic calculations for athletes to more complicated readings for medical patients. Polymer-based materials that allow molding of various parts, as well as advanced filters and OLEDs, utilize such technologies as NIR spectroscopy to detect a wide range of biomarkers with a variety of absorption characteristics. While LEDs operating in the green wavelength range are the most common historically, lasers that capture information from the IR are also possible. Advancements in these various technologies will be covered along with benchmarks for the development of the next generation of wearables. A team from Florida International University has been working on a wearable system that allows for the monitoring of readings in the obese and those with various skin tones. The global wearable technology market CAGR is expected to rise 13.8% from 2021 to 2028, with optical sensors a vital part of this market.

Key Technologies: wearables, optical sensors, polymers, OLEDS, LEDs, diode lasers, NIR spectroscopy

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Published: April 2022

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