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BioPhotonics
BioPhotonics is the global resource for research, business and product news and information for the biophotonics community and the industry's only stand-alone print and digital magazine. Stay current with a FREE subscription, and expand your knowledge of light and the life sciences through our extensive, industry-specific archives.

EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Mar 2017

Windows of Opportunity

MARCIA STAMELL marcia.stamell @photonics.com
Our cover story considers the progress and prospects of optical coherence tomography. There are promising new uses of OCT, a panel of three industry experts tells us. One, as our striking cover image shows, is OCT angiography. OCT-A is just attracting the clinical interest that is the necessary precursor to wider adoption. But there are serious obstacles to this and other OCT techniques moving beyond the domain of research hospitals and academia.

Marcia StamellOne roadblock involves data. Outside of ophthalmology, there typically isn’t enough information about the efficacy of new OCT applications. Large-scale randomized clinical studies can show how and when OCT improves outcomes for patients. But these investigations require smaller preliminary efforts to help shape the research questions, plenty of planning and, above all, a lot money. To get them off the ground would require widespread commitment by the OCT community. But it’s a commitment that holds the promise of wider adoption of these technologies that can improve medical outcomes. For more about OCT, see “Where Does OCT Go From Here?” (read article).

Our Biopinion this month also looks to the future. In “Research the Key to a Rich, Meaningful Undergraduate Photonics Education,” UCLA’s Aydogan Ozcan, a member of BioPhotonics’ advisory board, proposes an expansion of undergraduate research opportunities. It’s a step that he says would improve the overall quality of undergraduate optics education and ultimately lead to an increase in the number of people in optics- and photonics-related graduate programs, research labs and R&D efforts.

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• Researcher Juanita Anders of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences writes about recent advances in photobiomodulation therapy, or PMBT. This form of light therapy promises effective treatments for skin wounds, pain, brain injuries and even depression. “Photobiomodulation Therapy Comes of Age” (read article).

• Michael Bucci of Aavid Thermacore discusses thermal management in biophotonic devices. There are a variety of solutions to thermal challenges, he writes, that can lower energy consumption, improve reliability and extend operational life. “Heat Management Improves Performance” (read article).

• Dieter Bingemann of Ocean Optics brings biophotonics out in the field, literally. “Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Probes Food Freshness,” (read article), explores critical advances that allow nondestructive monitoring of agricultural products. This use of spectroscopy and chemometrics is good for farmers. It can be good for the rest of us, too, a reason that an apple you eat may be sweeter, crisper and more nutritious, too.

• And don’t miss this issue’s special Spectroscopy Sourcebook.
Karen Newman Group Publisher Karen Newman has had a career in business-to-business and association publishing, much of it spent covering technical, scientific and life sciences subjects.
Mike Wheeler Michael D. Wheeler is managing editor of Photonics Spectra and EuroPhotonics. In addition, he is responsible for the editorial direction of BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics.
Justine Murphy Senior Editor Justine Murphy is a multiple award-winning journalist who brings more than 15 years of experience to her role at Photonics Media.
Marcia Stamell Associate Managing Editor Marcia Stamell has worked for general interest newspapers, the business press and national magazines as a writer and editor.
 
Hank Hogan Contributing editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Hogan worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody Contributing editor Marie Freebody is a free-lance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
Valerie Coffey Science writer Valerie C. Coffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in astronomy. She has covered optics, photonics, physics and astronomy for a variety of industry and academic publications since 2000.
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