BIOINSTRUMENTATION: Application panels bring together clinicians, tech developers

The upcoming Laser World of Photonics Congress 2011 (May 23–26; Munich, Germany) will build upon its initiative of bringing together biomedical instrumentation users with technology and method developers to "bridge the gap between theory and practice" through a series of application panels. The theme-oriented, English-language presentations will be held in the exhibit hall (amid a vast array of exhibits featuring products for life sciences applications), and will augment the SPIE/OSA European Conferences on Biomedical Optics. Launched when the event was last held, during Laser World of Photonics Congress 2009, the application panels program then attracted 1,100 participants (the Congress overall attracted about 24,000 attendees and 1,040 exhibitors). This year, the biophotonics and life sciences panels will cover four topic areas:

• The Lasers for Analytical Bioinstrumentation and Bioimaging panel will review some of the latest technological advances in source research and how they benefit biomedical applications—such as DNA sequencing, microarray reading, and clinical and research flow cytometry; plus bioimaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and laser scanning confocal microscopy—now and in the future.

• The Diagnostics and Therapy in Medicine panel will explore diagnostics approaches such as laser-induced x-ray radiation for phase-contrast imaging of soft tissue, medical deep-scan microscopy, and endoscopic applications for optical high-resolution imaging of tissue morphology. It will also discuss ultra-short laser pulses that produce secondary radiation for cancer therapy, the use of NMR monitoring for thermal laser intervention, and future laser-based endoscopic surgical techniques (NOTES, NOSCAR) that will expand the range of surgery alternatives.

• Both the Visions for Future Diagnostics—Oncology and the Visions for Future Diagnostics—Infectious Diseases panels will target medical specialties by discussing unmet medical needs, and breaking them down into defined "request chains"—from full systems to photonic components like lasers, detectors and filters, etc. —B. G. Goode

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