BIOMEDICAL IMAGING/LASER LIGHT SOURCES: BiOS exhibits feature high-power lasers, innovative imaging

In the exhibit hall at the Biomedical Optics Symposium (BiOS) that ran as part of Photonics West 2010 (San Francisco, CA, January 23-28), high power was a theme.

For instance Toptica (Munich, Germany) said its new FemtoFiber pro ultrafast laser features "the highest peak power of its class" (average > 350 mW) along with hands-off operation. Toptica claims a "new power record" too (60mW) for 488 nm direct diode lasers with its iBeam speckle-killing system that also promises feedback-induced noise erasure. The iBeam targets microscopy and flow cytometry applications.

Meanwhile ultrafast fiber laser developer Fianium (Southampton, UK) used the event to announce enhancements to its series of supercontinuum systems, including the addition of "the highest power blue-enhanced" (to 400 nm) system, the 6W SC-400-6, which operates at 60 or 80 MHz. The company also introduced four new variable repetition rate sources, and announced a push into the instrumentation OEM market.

Likewise, Laser Operations LLC (Sylmar, CA) claimed "record power and brightness" at 1410–1550nm eye-safe wavelengths with its fully collimated 10kW CW wavelength-stabilized Brightlock stack array. And, the company won a Prism award (from SPIE and Laurin), for its BrightLock Ultra-G green laser.

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Ocean Optics' prototype multispectral imaging camera.

Among other Prism award winners were LightLab Imaging Inc. (Westford, MA) for its C7-XR optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. Targeted to interventional cardiology, the technology was also the subject of a presentation during BiOS's Saturday night Hot Topics session.

Bio-imaging innovations

Other exhibit hall highlights include Ocean Optics' (Dunedin, FL) demonstration of a prototype multispectral camera system designed to enable blood flow and tissue oxygenation imaging. It combines a monochromatic high-definition CMOS image sensor, a synchronized optical filter wheel, and integrated display (plus output, e.g., via DVI)–in a package smaller than 6 x 8 x 4 inches. The camera offers four narrow bands in the visible plus two wide bands, and data capture parameters of each image can be customized to compensate for differences in spectral response and intensity reaching the sensor. On-board electronics facilitate and synchronize image capture, storage, stabilization, and processing by performing all mathematical calculations and image synthesis (or false-coloring), and generating a composite image.

Finally, Imagine Optic (Orsay, France) announced a new US subsidiary in San Francisco, plus a new product, MICAO, which it calls the first universal plug-and-play adaptive optics system for biological microscopes.

–Barbara G. Goode

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