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Biomedical Imaging Breakthroughs

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Water concentrations in human tissue, it turns out, are a good indicator of whether or not cells are cancerous. That’s led to increased interest in the emerging field of terahertz imaging, which promises delineation between healthy cells and cancerous ones. The problem: limitations in the performance of current THz sources and detectors.

Mike WheelerWhich brings us to Pierre Gellie’s “Breakthrough for Real-Time THz Imaging” (read article). Gellie, a winner of a Prism Award this year, walks through enhancements made to quantum cascade lasers — from optimizing the beam profile to achieving cryogenic operating temperature — required for the compact THz sources.

Similarly, Airy light-sheet microscopy has shown tremendous promise in acquiring never-before-seen high-contrast, 3D images of human tissue. Authors from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and M Squared Lasers Ltd. examine how this ground-breaking method allows for high-resolution images to be acquired at high speeds, with minimal impact on the specimen. See “Airy Beam Light-Sheet Microscopy Holds Promises for Life Sciences Imaging,” (read article).

Rounding out this month’s imaging-themed features, contributing editor Marie Freebody explores how systems-on-chip and ever-shrinking hyperspectral and multispectral imagers are opening up new applications, from grading cranberries via drones to incorporating cameras with onboard processing into cars. See “Applications on the Upswing as Cost of Imaging Systems Comes Down,” (read article).

Whether grading cranberries or assessing cancer cells, success lies in achieving maximum contrast and resolution. Teledyne Dalsa’s Xing-Fei He discusses how the use of micropolarizer filters in line scan polarization cameras can overcome common limitations in polarization filters available today. See “Focus on Polarization” (read article).

We shift our focus from machine vision to the realm of spectroscopy, where UVC LEDs are supplanting lamp-based systems in high-performance liquid chromatography and water quality assessments for environmental analysis. Don’t miss “High-Performance UVC LEDs Driving Innovations in Spectroscopy,” by Crystal IS’ Hari Venugopalan (read article).

We wrap up our issue with a look at the booming photonics industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Senior Editor Justine Murphy explores how companies there are advancing virtual- and augmented-reality technologies, as well as wearable and flexible displays. See her “Reality Check,” (read article).

As always, thank you for reading. We hope you enjoy the issue.

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2016
hyperspectral imaging
Methods for identifying and mapping materials through spectroscopic remote sensing. Also called imaging spectroscopy; ultraspectral imaging.
machine vision
Interpretation of an image of an object or scene through the use of optical noncontact sensing mechanisms for the purpose of obtaining information and/or controlling machines or processes.
camerashyperspectral imagingmachine visionTHzM-Squared THz imagingPierre GellieUVC LEDliquid chromatographyquantum cascade laser Asia Pacificaugmented realityMarie FreebodycancerAiry beam light sheet microscopyCrystal IS Teledyne DalsaJustine MurphyimagingMicroscopyEditorial

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