LASER World of PHOTONICS, Laser,
Laser technology in medical therapeutics and diagnostics will be featured at LASER World of PHOTONICS
News Release from:
Laser World of Photonics
Demographic change means that the health care systems in many industrial nations are now confronted with the challenges of an increasingly ageing society. Advances in optical technologies, especially biophotonics and life sciences will help in finding solutions to these challenges. Biophotonics will be one of the focus topics at LASER World of PHOTONICS 2011 and will be represented at both the trade fair and the World of Photonics Congress by a conference and practical subject-related talks.
More efficient and, thus, less expensive methods in diagnostics and therapeutics may help in future to prevent “two-class medicine“ and provide all social classes with equal high-quality health care. From 23 to 26 May 2011 LASER World of PHOTONICS will again feature a separate exhibition area on biophotonics, primarily in Hall B1, and will closely examine the latest optical technologies for biophotonics and life sciences. One of the major technological trends in biophotonics is optimisation of imaging methods for diagnostics through modern laser-based analysers. Diode lasers are used in cell measurement, femtosecond lasers permit new health screening examinations in oncology while laser-based multi-photon microscopes are also utilised to carry out research on age-related diseases.
“The future of biophotonics lies in the combination of different imaging methods”, said Prof. Dr. Franz Pfeiffer from the Chair of Biomedical Physics at Munich Technical University. “This will greatly increase visualisation opportunities, and it will be possible to see the entire body without surgical interventions and investigate disease-triggering mechanisms in a very much better way. New concepts are also necessary in biophotonics in order to improve the existing diagnostic possibilities for personalised medicine.”
Laser-based biomedical analysers are being used to a great extent for this purpose.
Lasers for diagnostics
Laser-based diagnostic methods are now already helping to detect and treat diseases and anomalies at an early stage. Especially in cancer screening, biophotonics offers possibilities which promise considerable improvements compared with conventional examination methods. JenLab GmbH, Jena, Germany, will present its laser tomograph, which recently won the Prism Award, at LASER World of PHOTONICS. A femtosecond laser beam precisely penetrates the patient’s tissue. The fluorescences thus excited in the illuminated cells enable conclusions to be drawn regarding their characteristics and therefore replace a conventional biopsy. This method can also be used for long-term observation through fast uncomplicated tests, thus facilitating a paradigm change from treating symptoms to preventive medicine.
The latest fibre-coupled diode lasers utilised in light microscopy and cell measurement are now already deployed in DNA. “In our company we regard biophotonics as an important growth market”, said Dr. Kaenders, founding member and Chairman of the Board of Management of TOPTICA Photonics AG, Gräfelfing, Germany. “New laser-based techniques provide insights into cellular processes without disturbing or destroying the cell. The laser is playing an increasingly more important role in this case. New laser parameters such as spectral coverage, output and pulsability are currently leading to phenomenal growth in new techniques.”
Lasers for research and therapy regarding geriatric diseases
An important tool in clinical diagnostics is cell analysis by means of fluorescence microscopy, which can also be used to carry out research on diseases such as Parkinson‘s and Alzheimer’s. Fluorescence microscopy is based on optical signals from cells which are illuminated using a laser. These optical signals provide information on the characteristics of the cells. “The basic idea in the majority of life science applications is excitation of fluorescent dyes and proteins with lasers”, explained Dr. Matthias Schulze, Marketing Director at the laser measuring system manufacturer Coherent Inc., Santa Clara, USA. “Our patented technology with its wavelength scalability is now widely accepted with more than 20,000 lasers in scientific and clinical applications. It is helping to meet the increasing demand for clinical diagnostic applications in an ageing population. This technology is also leading to improvements in the area of therapy, for example in ophthalmology.”
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2011 will also present new future-oriented technologies for therapeutics, for example in oncology and clinical surgery. “Image-guided radiotherapy is now already established in radiation treatment of tumour patients“, explained Professor Wilkens from the technical department Advanced Technologies in Radiation Therapy at Munich Technical University. “In the long term improved imaging techniques will enable tumours to be reliably detected at an early stage, so that radiotherapy can be started sooner and, thus, more effectively. Laser-powered sources for X-ray and particle radiation could play a decisive role in this respect.
The use of lasers also opens up new possibilities in endoscopy, for example for non-scarring operation techniques. So-called natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is an innovative operation technique which permits endoscopic surgery through natural body openings and, thus, very gentle operations. These applications will be presented during the trade fair in the practical talk entitled “Biophotonics & life sciences, laser diagnostics and therapy in medicine“. The talks during the Photonics Forum in Hall B1 on 24 May 2011 are being organised by the German Association for Laser Medicine (DGLM), Berlin.
Focus on applications – talk series at a glance
The World of Photonics Congress will supplement the exhibition area of biophotonics and life sciences by four subject-related talk series regarding laser diagnostics and laser-based therapeutics.
As a dialogue platform between the disciplines of medicine, biochemistry and physics, the practical talks during the Congress will create close links between developers and users. In particular, imaging diagnostics and laser-based instruments will be the main topics of the talks in 2011 when leading companies and research institutes from the industry will demonstrate their new applications:
• Innovations in the area of lasers for biomedical applications will be examined during the practical talk entitled “Lasers for analytics and imaging in biophotonics”. One of several talks on this topic will be presented by TOPTICA Photonics AG during the Biophotonics Forum and will be discussed in Hall B1 on 24 May 2011.
• The use of lasers opens up new possibilities in endoscopy. This will be the topic of the practical talk entitled ”Biophotonics & life sciences, laser diagnostics and therapy in medicine“ during the Biophotonics Forum in Hall B1 on 24 May 2011.
• The practical talks “Visions for Future Diagnostics“, which are being organised by the Institute for Photonic Technologies (IPHT), Jena, will discuss other possibilities of photonic technologies in medicine on 25 and 26 May 2011. The subject areas in the workshop will be oncology and infectious diseases. The interdisciplinary character of biophotonics research will be examined in detail during this workshop.
As a scientific conference, ECBO 2011 (European Conferences on Biomedical Optics) will also deal with the topic. ECBO will be held from 22 to 26 May 2011 as part of the World of Photonics Congress. One of the Congress highlight will be the joint sessions between CLEO (Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics) and ECBO. On 23 May 2011 Prof. James G. Fujimoto from the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will give a talk entitled ”Optical coherence tomography imaging: technology and applications“.
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