BioPhotonics Preview - May/June 2022

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


Quantum Cascade Lasers for IR Spectroscopy

Trailblazers in analytical science have long demanded spectroscopic imaging information with rapid time-to-results. Quantum Cascade Laser Infrared (QCL-IR) Microscopy is a novel approach to chemical imaging that uses the high brightness of QCLs to acquire micro-spectroscopic imaging data at higher speeds than is possible with incoherent light sources (used in FT-IR microscopes for example). QCL-IR microscopes are now enabling rapid hyperspectral imaging and, in some cases, video-rate imaging at discrete IR illumination wavelengths. This technology is advancing applications like metabolic imaging, cancer research, and microplastic analysis, where researchers can, for the first time, analyze large numbers of samples in practical timeframes.

Key Technologies: quantum cascade lasers, infrared microscopy

AI and Slide Scanning

To achieve relevant data for their investigations, researchers need to analyze large image sets. This analysis can be both quantitative and qualitative, and it must also be reliable and unbiased. A recent innovation in imaging, including new high-tech slide scanning technologies along with AI/deep learning, offers a great opportunity to accelerate and maximize the results from this cumbersome process of assessing microscopic images. It allows researchers to precisely automate their segmentation and analysis of microscopic images they capture (such as cells) with much higher reliability and accuracy than other existing automatic methods allow. These advances hold implications for speeding drug discovery and medical research as they better equip researchers with more precise results early in the research process that can lead to the development of new and better treatments for disease. This article explains the kinds of technical enhancements enabling progress and the implications for the future as these systems are used increasingly by researchers in clinics and labs. Specifically, this piece will cover key enhancements in imaging technology that improve reliability and cut down on manual processes – and how they do it, the broad array of applications for the enhanced technologies & how they’re being used now, and what the future holds as it relates to this technology — what’s next? What are the possibilities for the future?

Key Technologies: AI, microscopy, live imaging, convoluted neural networks

Spectroscopy & 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

Cameras in Endoscopy

Medical Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI) is a combination of imaging spectroscopy and physiological/chemical imaging (chemical color imaging). OmniVision and Diaspective Vision have applied HSI in the development of a new type of endoscopic camera, the MALYNA system. The new camera technology not only provides indocyanine green (ICG) based perfusion visualization but also serves as a platform to adapt further algorithms for quantified perfusion and tissue categorization without the need for color agent injection. The system augments a 4K live video stream with physiological information to provide surgeons with objective decision-making support. It is applicable in laparoscopy, robotic surgery, and diagnostic endoscopy with the goal of intraoperative risk structure and potentially tumor detection. Known as the fifth dimension of medical imaging, the new camera technology is set to become a standard diagnostics tool like ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans. It provides live imaging in addition to multispectral imaging, which shows ICG imaging for perfusion and cancer detection and will be enhanced with different perfusion parameters and risk structures of the tissue in the future. This combination of different imaging procedures maximizes productivity during endoscopy, and would not be possible without OmniVision’s high-performance CMOS image sensors. The article will explain medical spectral and multispectral imaging and its advantages for endoscope technology in particular. Application examples of the new endoscopic camera will also be provided.

Key Technologies: hyperspectral imaging, multispectral imaging, chemical imaging, endoscopy


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Published: February 2022

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