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Photonics – Forever Relevant in Biological Applications

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Rodd M. Pedrotti, BioPhotonics Editor, [email protected]

Photonic technologies for biological applications — whether they’re currently in development, in trial or already in active use — are advancing at a mind-blowing pace. Given the sheer momentum the biophotonics industry has gained, it’s highly unlikely that this sector will ever obey the laws of inertia. If anything, its velocity is more likely to speed up, both in terms of scientific progress and volumetric market growth.

According to Global Industry Analysts Inc.’s 2015 Biophotonics Global Strategic Report, as made available through Research and Markets Ltd., biophotonic-related techniques are quickly replacing well-established diagnostic methods. For example, the report cites autofluorescence-based observation, light scatter analysis and vibrational spectroscopy as future methodologies positioned to replace the use of nucleic acids, antibodies and enzymes for conducting biological imaging. Additionally, its findings indicate the U.S. is the largest biophotonics market worldwide, with the Asia-Pacific region ranking as the fastest-growing market for the same technologies.

The field of photonics, and certainly biophotonics, is here to stay. In light of this, the September 2015 issue of BioPhotonics serves up some interesting features that will attest to this reality.

In our cover story, OFS’s Andrei Stolov discusses the effects of varying sterilization techniques when applied to different types of optical fibers and fiber-based sensors. These devices are suited to a range of invasive and noninvasive medical applications that range from urology, cardiology and endoscopy to dentistry, general surgery and ophthalmology. The medical and clinical use of these tools is increasing, and the need for sterilization is paramount — especially if any of the fiber-based instruments are to be reused. In his feature, “Sterilization Effects on Optical Fibers for Clinical Use,” Stolov examines which sterilization methods best work for a given fiber-optic compound or coating; it begins on page 27.

Also in this issue:

• “Supercontinuum Sources Enhance UHR-OCT Methods,” by Thomas Feuchter, NKT Photonics A/S, beginning on page 31;

• “Multiwavelength TIRF Microscopy Enables Insight into Actin Filaments,” by Dan Callen, Coherent Inc., beginning on page 36; and

• “Using QCLs for MIR-Based Spectral Imaging — Applications in Tissue Pathology,” by Michael Walsh, University of Illinois at Chicago, and by Matthew Barre and Benjamin Bird, Daylight Solutions Inc., beginning on page 40.

Please enjoy the issue.

Sep 2015
EditorialBiophotonicsimagingMicroscopyspectroscopylasersAmericasbiophotonics industryautofluorescence-based observationlight scatter analysisvibrational spectroscopybiological imagingsupercontinuum sourcesUHR-OCTTIRF microscopyactin filamentsQCLsMIR-based spectral imagingtissue pathologyRodd M. Pedrotti

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