Attendance at the largest annual event in biophotonics grew 19% this year over 2009. According to the SPIE, the Biomedical Optics Symposium (BiOS) at Photonics West 2010 drew 5,448 participants, including 3,191 conference attendees, 646 exhibition-only visitors, and 1,611 exhibitor representatives from 179 exhibiting companies.
The BiOS conferences saw a record number of paper submissions across the broad range of topics, and most attracted increased attendance as did the poster session. Among highlights:
- Ophthalmic Technologies is an area still growing after 20 years; and, on a related note,
- Optical Coherence Tomography, a technology growing from its base application in ophthalmology, continued to advance in numbers of papers and applications.
- Frontiers in Pathogen Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems, where attendance was about three times the number of papers.
- Otolaryngology: Lasers, Optics, Radio Frequency, and Related Technology, held this year in conjunction with the second Scientific Meeting of the Head and Neck Optical Diagnostics Society; they plan to meet together again in 2012.
- Photons Plus Ultrasound Imaging and Sensing, also a standout last year, showed a nearly 30% increase in papers and almost 40% increase in audience.
- Plasmonics in Biology and Medicine. According to the SPIE, "plasmonics continues to grow as people are gaining more understanding of what it is."
According to the SPIE, Photonics West attendees said the event provided indicators of strength in biomedical optics and photonics. A number of the exhibitors I spoke with also indicated that their bio-focused business was holding its own. Although the dismal economy took its toll, anecdotal evidence suggests that bio-optics business did not trend downward throughout 2009. One exhibitor described the slope of his business through the past year as resembling a hammock–dropping from January through the summer and then picking back up later in the year.
The BiOS event focuses on system components (in addition to full systems) and life sciences (in addition to medical applications) more than the market study I reported last issue which proclaimed 2009 "another bad year for cosmetic and elective medical procedures," the largest segment in medical lasers.
BiOS has become such a large event that it's impossible to partake of all the offerings. Nonetheless, this issue includes a number of gleanings from BiOS/Photonics West 2010, and we'll continue through the coming months to follow developments reported there–and elsewhere.
Editor in Chief