Advances in Biophotonics


Wilson, B.C.,
Tuchin, V.V.,
Tanev, S.

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The field of biophotonics is rapidly emerging in both academia and industry. It is the convergence of photonics and life sciences. Photonics - the science and technology of light generation, manipulation and measurement - has itself seen a remarkable expansion in the past 20 years, both in research and in commercialization, particularly in telecommunications. The life sciences have an increasing need for new technologies to which photonics can make significant contributions. As biology and medicine move into the post-genomics era, it is increasingly important to have highly sensitive tools for probing cells, tissues and whole organism structure and functions. Through photonic technologies optical fibers and sensitive imaging detectors, these measurements can often be done in a non- or minimally-invasive way, which is tremendously valuable for clinical and remote-sensing applications. In clinical medicine the ability to probe and image tissues is leading to a wide range of novel diagnostic methods; examples of these techniques are given in this book. Finally, the new field of nanotechnology is now penetrating into biophotonics. Examples include the use of nanoparticles such as metal nanospheres or rods and quantum dots for enhanced cell and tissue imaging and local light energy absorption. As will be evident, this volume is not intended as a comprehensive text on biophotonics. Rather, it presents ‘snapshots’ of some of the most exciting developments, from a perspective of photonic technologies, and life-sciences applications.