Business opportunities in biophotonics

SPIE's Photonics West, including the Biomedical Optics Symposium (BiOS) conference and expo, is an annual highlight for me.

Barbara G 720

SPIE's Photonics West, including the Biomedical Optics Symposium (BiOS) conference and expo, is an annual highlight for me. I'm psyched to head to San Francisco for BiOS 2018 next week—it's a great opportunity to appreciate the stunning progress and diversity of this field. Something like a gigantic candy store for bio-optics geeks (like me).

On my calendar for Monday, January 29th is the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar at the Marriott Marquis, where I'll get to moderate a panel of bioinstrumentation developers in a session called "What bioinstrumentation developers need from the photonics industry." The idea is to help optics and photonics suppliers better understand how to work with developers of instruments used in research, preclinical, and clinical applications. In the end, everybody wins!

The 70-minute panel discussion will feature leaders from important companies developing systems for biomedical applications. Attendees will get to ask questions of—and hear about technology capabilities, trends, and customer needs from—an impressive group:

  • Muhammad Al-Qaisi, Ph.D., Associate Director, R&D with eye care leader Alcon. At Alcon, Dr. Al-Qaisi leads a newly founded R&D group responsible for developing optical tech solutions to improve outcomes of cataract, refractive, and retinal surgeries.
  • Wenyi Feng, Ph.D., Director, Engineering at Illumina, whose team develops instruments and devices for DNA sequencing and microarray platforms to address a range of genomic applications and throughput.
  • Peter J. S. Heim, Ph.D., CTO and General Manager of Thorlabs Quantum Electronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thorlabs, which is known for optical coherence tomography (OCT) instrumentation, among other technologies. Most recently, Dr. Heim has focused on commercializing tunable MEMS-VCSEL technology for swept-source OCT.

Each panelist will lay out basics that are foundational for his company’s supplier relationships, and then summarize recent developments that have impacted markets and customers. And, the panelists will articulate trends/changes that they anticipate over the next few years.

Then, we'll take questions. I expect to touch on on key criteria that the developers consider when selecting vendors of photonics products; problems they face across the product lifecycle; and photonics technologies they would like to see developed to facilitate next-generation instruments.

The panel will follow an energizing peek at a treatment that is set to quietly revolutionize a number of applications, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and wound healing. Praveen Arany, DDS, Ph.D.'s talk, "Trends and needs in photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy," will provide insight into PBM's underlying science and growing market opportunities. Dr. Arany, a leading researcher in the field, is immediate past-president of the North American Association for Photobiomodulation Therapy and now president-elect of the World Association for Laser Therapy.

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