Translational Biophotonics: Diagnostics & Therapeutics
Biophotonics based methods have become valuable tools for both pre-clinical and clinical applications. In clinical diagnostics, optical spectroscopy and optical imaging provides detailed structural and functional information on organs, tissues and biofluids. Basic preclinical research in animal models and clinical research in humans includes 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 that contribute to the early transformation of normal to diseased tissue, such as when malignant tumours develop. Furthermore, light-tissue interactions for therapeutic applications include linear approaches such as photobiomodulation, photodynamic and other photochemical therapies, and nonlinear approaches based on photothermal or photo-ablative interactions. Therapeutic approaches on micro to macro length scales for hard and soft tissues include applications from brain surgery to ophthalmology.
This conference focuses on the research undertaken to translate biophotonics towards clinical and pre-clinical applications. The conference aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for scientists, engineers, technicians, medical doctors, biologists and related researchers, with the ultimate goal of utilizing new understanding and novel technologies in biophotonics to develop new and more efficient diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for translation.
Contributed papers are solicited on all areas of clinical and preclinical optical and multi-modal diagnostic imaging, therapeutic approaches based on the light tissue interaction, and image-guided therapies including, but not limited to, the following and related areas:
Diffuse Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging
The study of diffuse optical spectroscopy and imaging in tissue continues to provide new insight into the structural and functional properties of tissues that are not easily assessed 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. Combining diffuse light systems with new contrast agents or other imaging modalities are also emerging as major growth areas. Further improvement in these and other applications rely on continued advancement in the theory of radiation transport in random media, in data analysis and image reconstruction, 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.
Emerging Technologies for Cell and Tissue Characterization
A number of emerging and highly promising technologies are under development that rely on new contrast mechanisms or draw on the complementarity of multiple fields to visualize and manipulate molecular and cellular interactions, to interrogate the inherent complexity and heterogeneity of biological tissues. Examples include novel biosensing and tissue characterization techniques, the use of optics to assess tissue and cell biomechanics, polarimetry techniques and novel photo-diagnostics and machine learning for guiding therapeutics. These novel approaches are often 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, tissue characterization and data analysis. This conference will present a highly interdisciplinary forum of interest to instrument designers, sensor builders, basic and applied clinical researchers, and other scientists interested in exploring novel directions in biophotonics.
Advances in Microscopic Imaging
This conference will explore the rapidly developing field of microscopic imaging and applications, with approaches including multidimensional microscopy, light-sheet-based approaches, super-resolution microscopies, multiphoton imaging, and photomanipulation. Consideration will be given to the characteristics of the overall system design, as well as to contrast, image formation, image recording, and digital methods of producing and displaying the resulting reconstruction. Recent innovations in multi-dimensional microscopy have an important impact on the biological and medical fields ranging from cellular and developmental biology to neurosciences. We hope that the broad range of relevant topics presented at this conference will encourage the interaction among physicists, optical engineers, computer image analysts, and biologists.
Opto-Acoustic Methods and Applications in Biophotonics
Optoacoustic (photoacoustic) imaging has grown significantly to a powerful optical imaging platform suitable for basic research, clinical translation, and drug discovery. Advances in system design, laser and ultrasound detection technology, and reconstruction and data processing algorithms now offer the ability to visualize a large range of anatomical, functional and molecular bio-markers based on optical contrast, thus enabling exciting biological and clinical applications in basic discovery, early diagnostics and therapy monitoring.
A strength of the optoacoustic methodology is its versatility, manifest in the numerous distinct imaging concepts employed in it: multispectral imaging, nonlinear imaging, real-time imaging, tomography, microscopy, mesoscopy, macroscopy, endoscopy, etc. Further, label-free imaging of functional parameters of vasculature including hemoglobin oxygenation, tissue metabolism and water and lipid contrast can be combined with the detection of exogenous molecular agents to provide more complete views of pathologies at scales ranging from microns to several centimeters. Additionally, the ability to detect nanoparticle contrast agents 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 mathematics, through to biotechnology and preclinical/clinical biomedicine. It is the aim of this conference to bring together these disciplines, 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 concepts, applications and contrast generation mechanisms, including photo-absorbing agents and nanoparticles.
Optical Coherence Imaging Techniques and Imaging in Scattering Media
This conference broadly examines imaging in biological tissues based on coherent light and its interactions with turbid scattering media. The conference provides an interdisciplinary forum for topics in research and development on a physical and theoretical basis of coherent imaging including optical coherence tomography/microscopy (OCT and OCM), adaptive optics in ophthalmoscopy, nonlinear coherence imaging, photothermal and magnetomotive imaging, and imaging with advanced wavefront control. In addition, this conference will focus on the development of new light sources, probes, detection schemes, and signal processing algorithms for coherent imaging. Applications of coherent optical techniques for morphological as well as functional assessment in vivo in various medical fields will also be covered.