The Optical Society Blog

Day 2: Propagating Further

After a final session of talks on new developments in 3D imaging methods and funding opportunities, our host Jerome Mertz presented a timely summary of outstanding problems and possible solutions identified during this week's Incubator meeting:

Added: 07 Mar 2014


Day 1: Seeing Order in Disorder

Greetings from Washington, DC, and the OSA Controlled Light Propagation Incubator meeting! Hosted by Tom Bifano and Jerome Mertz, Boston University, USA; Sylvain Gigan, Institut Langevin, France; and Allard Mosk, University of Twente, Netherlands; today’s event brings leading researchers from the fields of biological imaging and adaptive optics together with partners from industry and...

Added: 06 Mar 2014


Reducing Drug Trial Costs with Imaging Technology

95% of new cancer therapeutics fail to make it past Phase II clinical trials. This means that while it should only cost about $50 million per drug for FDA approval, incorporating the cost of failures leads to an estimated cost of $1 billion per drug (1), with a recent Forbes article suggesting that this number is considerably higher (2).So why are so many drugs failing in clinical trials?

Added: 04 Mar 2014


Rydberg Atoms: Two’s Company, Three’s Still Company

Once relegated to the margins of atomic physics research as basically tunable microwave antennas (albeit with enviable success), highly excited “Rydberg” atomic states have experienced a resurgence of interest in the past decade at the hands of the quantum information community, owing to their giant polarizability and long natural lifetime.  In particular, the strong long-range...

Added: 28 Feb 2014


How to fit a laser-scanning microscope into a 2mm diameter tube

Optical microscopy can provide high-resolution images of cellular morphology and matrix organization, which can be utilized to diagnose disease or trauma. However, achieving an adequate signal-to-noise ratio at imaging depths exceeding 1mm is very challenging.  As a result, the initial clinical applications for optical microscopy techniques have largely focused on skin pathology. ...

Added: 28 Feb 2014


Pushing the limits of imaging resolution and penetration depth

The development of labeling techniques capable of providing customizable molecular specificity has made optical microscopy a fundamental technique in the biomedical research, and the standard compound microscope remains a fixture in just about any clinic or biomedical lab. The popularity of optical microscopy was also driven by the ability to provide resolution at the cellular level that...

Added: 28 Feb 2014


It takes blood, sweat, and SERS to image single cells

Throw out those old dusty fluorescent molecules and welcome in the next generation of optical contrast agents. SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering/Spectroscopy) nanoparticles are sophisticated new contrast agents that offer some distinct advantages over conventional fluorescent molecules for investigating molecular biology.

Added: 20 Feb 2014


Will the future be crowd-sourced? Open Source Appropriate Technology

I recently came across an article on Open Source Appropriate Technology (OSAT). How did I never think of this myself? Why have I never heard or read about it before? OSAT is all about developing technology in an open source environment (similar to Free and Open Source Software – or FOSS) keeping in mind the social, economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural needs of the...

Added: 19 Feb 2014


Where would biomedicine be without optics?

Much of the emphasis in biomedical optics research has been placed on the clinical translation of our technologies -- and rightfully so!  As my fellow blogger Dr. Ken Tichauer indicates, the potential impact in the clinic is great and the future remains bright.  But as we gear up for OSA BIOMED 2014 in Miami, I will be excited to learn about some of the latest applications in basic...

Added: 10 Feb 2014


Quantum Information Goes Splat on Causality's Windshield

Physicists sleep well at night comforted in the fact that information can’t travel faster than light, but determining where exactly the causality police write the speeding ticket in various systems can be tricky to pin down.  In an invited talk at QIM 2014, my colleague Paul Lett from NIST and the Joint Quantum Institute will present new measurements showing just how this speed limit...

Added: 06 Feb 2014