European Conferences on Biomedical Optics (ECBO)

12 - 16 May 2013
Messe Munchen, Munich, Germany

Topic Categories

1. Advanced Microscopy Techniques
2. Clinical & Biomedical Spectroscopy & Imaging
3. Diffuse Optical Imaging
4. Opto-Acoustic Methods and Applications
5. Novel Biophotonics Techniques and Applications
6. Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Techniques
7. Medical Laser Applications and Laser-Tissue Interactions
8. Neurophotonics
9. Head and Neck Optical Diagnostics


1. Advanced Microscopy Techniques

This conference will explore the rapidly developing field of multidimensional microscopy, including confocal microscopy, nonlinear optical microscopies, super-resolution microscopies, light sheet-based microscopy and other novel imaging modalities. Consideration will be given to the characteristics of the overall system design, as well as to topics of contrast, image formation, image recording, deconvolution, and digital methods of produc¬ing and displaying the resulting reconstruction. Recent innovations in multi-dimensional microscopy have a serious impact on the biological and medical fields. We hope that the broad range of relevant topics presented at this conference will encourage the interaction among instrumentation engineers, computer image analysts, and researchers in the various fields of biomedical and life science application.

Papers are invited on all areas of development and application of confocal, nonlinear optical, and novel optical microscopies including, but not limited to, the following and related areas:

  • high resolution optical imaging on the nanometer scale (e.g. PALM, STORM, STED)
  • fast imaging of large and complex biological specimens (e.g. SPIM, DSLM
  • multiphoton microscopy, SHG, THG, CARS, SRS, FWM microscopies using exogenous and/or endogenous contrast
  • adaptive optics, spatial and temporal control of the excitation
  • endoscopic microscopy
  • single molecule microscopy and microanalysis
  • phase microscopy, holographic based microscopy, absorption microscopy, polarization microscopy
  • multi-modal spectroscopic analysis in microscopy
  • novel image contrast enhancement approaches such as SER and other near field surface effects
  • FRET-FLIM modalities, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy
  • biomedical instrumentation
  • micro-optics and MEMS based optical systems for the biomedical diagnosis
  • fast image acquisition with time-resolving image acquisition systems• applications to cell biology, developmental biology, animal models
  • clinical applications of optical microscopy

2. Clinical & Biomedical Spectroscopy & Imaging

Spectroscopic methods have become most valuable tools for both clinical diagnostics and biomedical research applied to in vivo tissue monitoring and the investigation on the molecular scale of excised samples. In clinical diagnostics, optical spectroscopy provides detailed structural and functional information on organs, tissues and body liquids. Basic biomedical applications include the detailed investigation of tissues and cells down to the level of single molecules, helping to understand the principles of cellular and sub-cellular processes in the early transformation of normal to diseased tissue, such as when malignant tumours are developed.

The conference provides an interdisciplinary platform for physicians, physicists, biologists, chemists and related researchers in order to strengthen an integrated and holistic approach of understanding normal tissue development and the genesis of diseases in order to be able to ultimately develop new, efficient treatment modalities.

Contributed papers are solicited, but not limited, to the following areas, using optical spectroscopy methods, e.g. fluorescence, autofluorescence, linear and nonlinear Raman, NIR, polarization, back-reflectance, and light scattering spectroscopy, and combined approaches (multimodal imaging):

A. Biomedical and clinical spectroscopic diagnostics

  • in vivo diagnostics (structural and functional spectral imaging of cells, tissues, organs), including endoscopic, noninvasive and minimally invasive methods
  • tissue pathology
  • spectral biomarker analysis
  • spectroscopic micro- and nanosensors
  • Biochip technology for point-of-care diagnostics
  • diagnostics and tissue engineering.

B. Investigation of cellular and sub-cellular processes

  • analysis of cell dynamics by single-molecule techniques
  • high spatial resolution microscopy
  • structural analysis of cells and tissue
  • biomarker discovery for spectroscopic techniques.

3. Diffuse Optical Imaging

The study of diffuse light imaging in tissue continues to provide new insight into the structural and functional properties of tissues that are not easily accessed by alternative methods. The research and development of systems that exploit this approach has led to clinical prototype systems that are used in basic science and medical research. Scientific applications range from the study of cerebral physiology to cancer patho-physiology in both animals and humans. Medical applications being explored encompass detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, brain cancer, cognitive neuroscience, stroke, hemorrhages, brain and muscular oxygenation, peripheral vascular diseases and joint diseases as well as establishing novel methods in drug discovery and tracking. Integration of diffuse light imaging into existing clinical instrumentation is a key area of development, and combining diffuse light imaging with new contrast agents or other imaging modalities are also emerging as major growth areas.

Further improvement in these and other application areas relies on continued advancement in the theory of radiation transport through random media, in data analysis and image reconstruction algorithms, and in instrumentation design.

This meeting provides a key interdisciplinary forum for engineers, physicists, mathematicians, biomedical scientists and physicians to report on recent results, improvements, and new approaches and applications for using diffusing light to characterize the structural and functional properties of tissue.

Contributed papers are solicited concerning, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Diffuse optical tomography and spectroscopy
  • Diffuse fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging
  • Novel molecular contrast agents
  • Hybrid-modality imaging with diffuse light
  • Modeling of light propagation
  • Image reconstruction algorithms
  • Instrumentation and imaging systems
  • Clinical applications
  • Muscle physiology
  • Breast cancer imaging and spectroscopy
  • Brain imaging of cerebral activation, stroke, hemorrhage, etc.
  • Pre-clinical animal studies

4. Opto-Acoustic Methods and Applications

In the last decade optoacoustic (photoacoustic) imaging has grown significantly to a powerful optical imaging platform suitable for basic research, clinical translation, and drug discovery. Advances in the system design, laser and ultrasound detection technology in conjugation with the ability to visualize a large range of anatomical, functional and molecular bio-markers have led to new and exciting ways of visualizing structure and function in biological tissue.

One of the promising aspects of the optoacoustic methodology is its versatility, manifested in the numerous distinct imaging concepts employed in it: multispectral imaging, nonlinear imaging, real-time imaging, tomography, microscopy, endoscopy, etc. Label-free imaging of functional parameters of vasculature including hemoglobin oxygenation and oxygen metabolism can be combined with simultaneous detection of exogenous molecular agents to provide more complete views of pathologies at appropriate scales from optical diffraction-limited microscopy to depths of several centimeters.

Additionally, the ability to detect nanoparticles of interest by means of their optical absorption enables unique in vivo visualization This emerging field of the imaging sciences integrates many scientific disciplines from physics and engineering to chemistry and biotechnology. It is the aim of this conference to bring together those disciplines which make up the optoacoustic field with particular emphasis on development and adaption of optoacoustic technology to enable novel biological and clinical applications. All areas in optoacoustic sensing and imaging are welcomed, from hardware and algorithmic developments, to novel concept, applications and contrast generation mechanisms, including photo-absorbing agents and nanoparticles.

Areas of interest consider, but are not limited to, progress in the following topics:

  • Optoacoustic imaging and tomography
  • Optoacoustic microscopy
  • Multi-spectral approaches
  • Theory and image reconstruction algorithms
  • Small animal and clinical imaging
  • Genetic reporters and cell-labeling for optoacoustic imaging
  • Novel optoacoustic agents and nanoparticles
  • Novel detection technologies for opto-acoustic imaging
  • Novel illumination technologies
  • Nonlinear optoacoustic signal generation
  • Multi-modality imaging

5. Novel Biophotonics Techniques and Applications

Aside from the well-recognised avenues of biomedical optics for diagnostics, therapeutics and analytics/microscopy, a number of novel and highly promising approaches are under development. These new techniques often rely on the confluence of two or more diverse fields, drawing on their complementarity in order to overcome the inherent complexity and heterogeneity of biological tissues. Examples include photoacoustic spectroscopy, use of MRI to constrain optical tomographic reconstructions, PDT sterilization of surgical margins and the emerging role of photodiagnostics in monitoring and guiding therapies in real time (“theragnostics”). These hybrid approaches are driven by task-specific requirements of a particular application. Moreover, a number of new ideas are being investigated based on new methodologies, physical basis, instrument development, integration techniques and data analysis. This conference will present a highly interdisciplinary discussion forum of interest to instrument designers, sensor builders, basic and applied clinical researchers, and other scientists interested in exploring novel directions in biophotonics.

Topics for contributions are thus broadly open and include:

  • photoacoustic/optoacoustic imaging and diagnostics
  • photothermal imaging and diagnostics
  • acousto-optic imaging
  • speckle-based techniques
  • polarized light diagnostics
  • holography and micro-holography
  • nanoprobes for imaging and diagnostics
  • MRI/optical image fusion
  • ultrasound/optical image fusion
  • new approaches for photon discrimination in turbid media
  • novel endoscopic technologies
  • integration of diagnostic and therapeutic photomedicine
  • hybrid approaches in photomedicine
  • image-guided therapeutics.

6. Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Techniques

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and optical methods based on coherent light interactions with tissue are emerging medical diagnostic imaging techniques which can perform cross-sectional, three-dimensional, functional and real-time visualization of biological microstructure in situ. This conference provides an interdisciplinary
forum for topics in research and development on a physical and theoretical basis of coherent imaging including novel low- coherence interferometry and tomography techniques, extension techniques of OCT such as polarization-sensitive, Doppler, phase contrast, spectroscopic OCT, coherence microscopy, and combinations of coherent imaging with nonlinear optics or other tomography modalities. In addition, this conference will focus on the development of new light sources, new probes, new detection schemes and new signal processing algorithms for coherent imaging. Applications of coherent optical techniques for morphological as well as functional assessment in different living tissues and phantoms in various medical fields are also covered. Contributed papers are solicited concerning, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology and systems
  • Coherent imaging system, theory and signal processing
  • Clinical applications of OCT
  • Functional OCT, such as spectroscopic, Doppler, polarization-sensitive or second-harmonic OCT
  • Contrast enhancement techniques for OCT
  • Novel light sources and MEMS probes for OCT
  • Optical coherent techniques for tissue spectroscopy and imaging
  • Fourier optics in tissue imaging
  • Coherent light microscopy
  • Speckle analysis and methods for speckle reduction
  • Adaptive coherent optical systems
  • Multi-modal imaging platforms including OCT

7. Medical Laser Applications and Laser-Tissue Interactions

Medical laser application is a broad area for research and development with the vision of improving clinical therapeutic procedures or to extend into new fields for lasers in medical use. Novel biomedical laser applications are emerging due to the advent of new types of lasers that widen the possible spectrum of laser-tissue interactions to improve the target-oriented precise application of laser radiation in clinical practice. Laser light applications include the whole range of non-thermal to thermal reactions up to ionization effects either on the macro-scale, e.g. soft tissue smoothing without ablation, or on the micro scale, e.g. selective retina therapy, to the nano-scale for surgery within cells, as well as short-pulsed laser applications to treat soft and hard tissue in patients. In addition to that new laser light application techniques as well as innovative medical keyhole techniques such as laser assisted NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) are under investigation.

Highly sophisticated targeting strategies including endogenous or applied chromophores as well as conjugation of chromophores or nanoparticles with antibodies pave the way for new treatment modalities. Furthermore combination therapies such as the synergetic use of photodynamic therapy and immunomodulatory or antiseptics are encouraging new fields for research and clinical studies.

Improved understanding of biological reactions triggered by laser radiation interacting with natural absorbing sites, targeting molecules, photosensitizers, or nanoparticles will lead to progress in the creation of minimally-invasive clinical laser light applications or assist in elucidating particular immunological responses from the tissue.

Theoretical considerations and modeling of laser light distribution in tissue with subsequent energy transfer and tissue interactions constitute a solid basis for therapy planning in patients, particular if combined by improved light delivery and monitoring techniques.

This conference will provide an interdisciplinary forum for scientists, engineers, technicians, and medical doctors using laser assisted treatment modalities to discuss the progress in all these topics. The forum joins presentations from in-vitro investigations up to clinical studies of new laser light irradiance in the range of 10-3 – 1018 Wcm-2 to lead to actual clinical and medical questions where laser assisted techniques can play an important role in future.

Contributed papers are solicited concerning, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • photo-biological and photo-chemical reactions
  • photo-thermal and photo-mechanical tissue reactions
  • modelling of laser-tissue interactions
  • cellular micro- and nano-effects of laser radiatio
  • nanoparticlaes for targeted phototherapies
  • laser-induced microdissection and catapulting of cells
  • tissue ablation and cutting with short and ultra-short laser pulse
  • hard tissue ablation, benign tissue destruction
  • photodynamic therapy (PDT) of tumors, neoplasia, and other pathologic conditions
  • antimicrobial PDT, PDT mediated immunology
  • cellular mechanisms of low power laser therapy
  • minimally invasive laser surgery
  • laser applications in NOTES
  • progress in therapeutic laser applications
  • in-vitro, ex-vivo, preclinical and clinical studies
  • experiences in clinical laser application.

8. Neurophotonics

Understanding the brain, its circuitry and its ability to process information, remains one of the grand challenges in biomedical research. The use of light has revolutionized this quest by providing efficient methods to image the brain, from individual neurons to its vascular networks and blood flow. Light combined with recent advances in biochemistry and genetic engineering has allowed neurophotonics to harness ever more powerful methods that manipulate and probe processes in neurons and their behaviour in a network. These include novel ways to provide high-speed, multi-modal and high-resolution 3D brain imaging and multi-site photostimulation of neurons via photolysis, infra-red stimulation or optogenetics. Laser axotomy/dendrotomy operation, furthermore, is opening new frontiers in understanding repair mechanisms: in this case, dendrite or axon cutting, as well as spine ablation, is an interesting approach to study neuroplasticity also in transgenic knock out mouse model or under some pharmacological treatment. Further areas of neurophotonics include monitoring brain function in human adults and infants using near infrared spectroscopy and tomography approaches, as well as the use of light for photodynamic therapy. Finally, multimodal imaging represents another frontier, allowing different features of the functioning brain to be assessed by in parallel.

This conference will provide a forum for physicists, optical engineers and neuroscientists to report current developments and discuss further ventures on the use of light to study the brain.

Contributed papers are solicited concerning, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • In-vivo microscopy of brain structure and function
  • Functional calcium imaging
  • Voltage sensitive dye imaging
  • Photolysis and infra-red stimulation; instrumentation, reagents and applications
  • Optogenetics; instrumentation, reagents and applications
  • New transgenic and transfection tools for neurophotonics
  • New contrast agents and reporters of brain structure and function
  • Optical intrinsic signal imaging of brain function
  • Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and diffuse optical tomography of brain function
  • Diffuse correlation spectroscopy of brain function
  • Optical metabolic and oximetric imaging and microscopy in the brain
  • Photo-acoustic imaging in the brain
  • Molecular imaging in brain
  • Multimodal brain imaging (e.g. fMRI / optical / EEG/)
  • Laser surgery in the brain and spine
  • Fluorescence-guided brain surgery
  • Photodynamic therapy in the brain
  • Ultramicroscopy / light sheet imaging of optically cleared brain
  • Dendrotomy and axometry/connectomics
  • Correlative electron-light microscopy
  • Image tools for neurophotonics (neuronal tracing, spine detection, correlative tools)
  • Superresolution microscopy in neuroscience
  • Fast volumetric imaging approaches for neuromicroscopy
  • Adaptive optics techniques in neuroscience

9. Head and Neck Optical Diagnostics

The Head & Neck Optical Diagnostic Society (HNODS) was founded in 2008 in order to improve the early diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from head & neck malignancies by promoting and encouraging the study and practice of optical diagnostics techniques, by facilitating communications between clinicians, scientists, physicists, engineers, technicians, radiologists and pathologists (particularly those with interest in the pathology of the head and neck) and by building close relations with laser, optical and surgical associations, societies, research groups, industry and patient‘s organizations.

For the 5th HNODS meeting which is held in conjunction with the ECBO in May 2013 in Munich, Germany, our declared focus lies on the improvement of the scientist / clinician interface. In addition, we will run mini sessions on "the global perspective of optical diagnostics in the upper aerodigestive tract" and on "Photodynamic Therapy in the head & neck area". We are anticipating to have some highly acclaimed experts in the field of head & neck optical diagnostics giving invited lectures, and are encouraging the submission of papers (free lectures and posters) of both young and experienced clinicians and researchers.

The methods that should have been applied in contributing papers include (but are not limited to):

  • Fluorescence Imaging (intensity and lifetime)
  • Spectroscopic methods
  • Optical Coherence Tomography / Microscopy
  • Photo-acoustic imaging
  • Probe-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy
  • Photodynamic Therapy
  • Photochemical Internalization