A passion for excellence

  • Welcome to Photonics West 2012

    Certainly, it is a big conference and and even bigger trade show. But for someone who followed the event for more than a decade, Photonics West is at first a place to meet old friends and to find new ones. Then, of course, it is a great place to learn the latest from photonics research in science and industry.

    Rox Anderson, James Fujimoto open BIOS 2012 (Photo: SPIE)

    Rox Anderson, James Fujimoto open BIOS 2012 (Photo: SPIE)

    As usual, I started my PW schedule with the BIOS hot topics session on Saturday evening. Although the Biophotonics community has grown remarkably (now with 1.800 presentations), it is still some sort of family meeting with people who know each other for ages. The show is introduced by Rox Anderson and James Fujimoto for at least 10 years now and still they have a lot of fantastic innovations in this session. The first one was a new idea for a retinal prothesis. Daniel Planker and his group from Stanford develop a solar cell array as detector and power source which will be implanted in the eye. This implant will be stimulated by a special pair of goggles which sends the amplfied image of a camera into the eye. There, the implant absorbs the light and stimulates the Retina to create an image impression in the brain. Implanting such a device in the eye is relatively simple and much saver than earlier devices which need a wire through the eye and parts of the head.

    The BIOS hot topic session closed with an amazing presentation of Seok Hyun Yun from Harvard who wants to create small biological lasers, in fact single lasing cells from fluorescing material. These laser could support photodynamic therapies once.