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The Virtues of Synergy

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Our cover story this month focuses on a hybrid technique: photomediated ultrasound therapy (PUT). As the name implies, the technique takes advantage of the syngeries of lasers and sound to increase the effectiveness of antivascular therapy. Developed by a research team at the University of Michigan and other institutions, PUT may provide new treatments for cancer and diseases causing blindness such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. “Photomediated Ultrasound Therapy Offers Precision Targeting of Microvessels” (read article).

An agent-free therapy that offers increased penetration depth with lessened side-effects, PUT is one example of photonics research reaching beyond itself with promising results. Another involves 3D imaging for medicine and the biosciences. Researchers here have reached all the way to the movie business to advance the technology. Cinematic computer rendering, writes Contributing Editor Hank Hogan, is being used to deliver photorealistic images of 3D scans suitable for teaching and presentations. Other researchers are investigating the use of of consumer-style smart glasses to create virtual 3D models for surgical planning. You can find “3D Imaging Aids Life Sciences” (read article).

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• Ming Yan and Gil Reinin of Cytek Biosciences write about a new tool for immunooncology (IO) research. Full-spectrum flow cytometry uses three lasers to excite fluorescent dyes that each have a distinctive spectral signature. Multiple detectors read the results and a mathematical algorithm then differentiates among the fluorescent signatures. This can enable researchers to profile several cell subsets from a single assay of whole blood and may prove useful in evaluating IO therapies. “Full-Spectrum Technology Deepens the Reach of Flow Cytometry”(read article).

• A story on Dodt gradient contrast microscopy, or DGC, by John Wingerd of Siskiyou Corp. introduces a new means of imaging colorless specimens. DGC relies on diffraction using a diffuser and a condenser with a curved mask. As a result, any transparent object with edges that diffract light will be visible, and the Dodt image will be similar to normal images of a sample, with dark and light edges highlighted. The story also features a case study of how the technology was used to analyze the neurological basis of alcohol dependency in mice. “DCG Helps Illuminate Mechanisms of Alcohol Dependency” (read article).

• In our Biopinion this month, John Maynard, a medical device and diagnostics consultant, outlines steps for designing a biophotonic publication and patent strategy. The more patents a company has, the more territory it can claim, he writes. When it comes to publications, he adds, secrecy can have diminishing returns. As biophotonics companies bring out new products, they can benefit from actively educating the market on how — and how well — their technology works. “Design a patent and publication strategy” (read article).

• And don’t miss this issue’s special Imaging Sourcebook (read article).

Enjoy the issue.

Nov/Dec 2017
EditorialMarcia Stamell

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