Texas A&M invests $10.8 million in biophotonics research

A three-year, $10.8 million investment by Texas A&M University (College Station, TX) is set to provide a major boost to multidisciplinary quantum biophotonics research across the campus.Researchers will draw on quantum laser technology developed by the Texas A&M Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE) and apply it to an eclectic range of research, from human and crop health to anthrax and cancer detection.

Related: Spectroscopy-based computer model promising for in-vivo optical diagnostics, laser surgery

Related: UV-based handheld commercial device proves able to detect anthrax accurately, reliably

The funding will allow the campus to invest in cutting-edge laser-based technology and equipment, such as building a Raman spectrometer for cancer detection. In addition, the funding is helping to recruit internationally renowned and interdisciplinary faculty members. Scientists who already have signed on include Roy Glauber, a Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) professor who received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics, and Wolfgang Schleich, a University of Ulm (Germany) theoretical physicist whose accolades include membership in the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna, Austria). Both researchers are 2013-14 Fellows with the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS).

IQSE director and Texas A&M University quantum physicist Marlan Scully, a distinguished professor since 1996 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, says that the research conducted at the IQSE is a prime example of Texas A&M's growing "One Health" movement, which strives for an interdisciplinary approach across departments and colleges to uniting the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment. The institute fuses faculty members from several Texas A&M units and colleges, including science, engineering, liberal arts, agriculture, and veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.

Funding for this effort came from the Chancellor's Research Initiative (CRI), which provides one-time funds to Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, TX) to recruit and hire faculty members with a track record of developing large federally funded research programs. The $33 million in annual funds for the CRI, which comes from the Available University Fund, is distributed in a process that includes input from Texas A&M's deans, Provost Karan Watson, President R. Bowen Loftin, and A&M System Chancellor John Sharp.

Some of the biophotonics research goals for the IQSE award include:

1. Increasing the speed and reliability of cancer diagnosis techniques. Raman spectroscopy uses lasers to excite the tumor and create scattered light that carries molecular information, a technique that has shown promise in cancer detection and determining tumor boundaries. This technology will be extended to a new technique created at Texas A&M to increase the sensitivity of Raman signals.

2. Developing a new technology that will revolutionize biological and chemical sensing—a process long dominated by dogs as the best sensors of explosives and drugs. Texas A&M is creating a prototype device capable of unprecedented, one-part-per-trillion sensitivity for many chemicals under normal atmospheric conditions that could have major implications for homeland security, agriculture, healthcare, and environmental sensing.

3. Using laser technology developed at Texas A&M to detect crop infection. Cotton, for instance, is affected by several diseases characterized by airborne spores that could be identified spectroscopically by scanning the air directly above crops to pinpoint the infected areas. This technology had previously been used at the IQSE to monitor the atmosphere for traces of gases and pathogens, with broad application in environmental science and national security.

4. Building on technology developed at Texas A&M to detect anthrax in the air and in the mail. A team at Texas A&M was the first and only group to detect anthrax in real time. Now, IQSE researchers are proposing to use a technique called coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) to make the process of detecting endospores easier and more efficient. In addition to anthrax detection, the researchers expect the work to find many applications in chemical sensing and biomedical imaging.

For more information, please visit http://iqse.tamu.edu/.

-----

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, and join our group on LinkedIn

Subscribe now to BioOptics World magazine; it's free!

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside a Ramsey, MN, 10-year-old youth's brain.

Low-level laser therapy could speed muscle recovery at Rio 2016 Olympics

The gold medal-winning women’s U.S. Gymnastics team is reportedly experimenting with infrared light therapy to alleviate pain and reduce swelling in its athletes. (Update: A spokesperson for ...
BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS