19 November 2009

Biophotonics in Europe continues to grow

Photonics4life welcomes six new members

Barcelona. The Network of Excellence for Biophotonics photonics4life, which initially consisted of thirteen European research institutes, has been strengthened with the addition of six new partners. Network co-ordinator Professor J├╝rgen Popp welcomed representatives of the new members at a ceremony in Barcelona. The new members from research institutions in Denmark, Poland, Italy, Switzerland and Greece, are also all working in the field of biophotonics. This multidisciplinary research area uses light-based technologies to address a wide range of medical and biological questions, from the early diagnosis and treatment of disease to the understanding of fundamental life processes.

"With their know-how our new partners perfectly complement the scientific spectrum of the network, so that the full range of biophotonics is present within photonics4life" Popp explains. Until Wednesday he and his colleagues will meet in ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, with about 90 other researchers from eleven countries. Together they will focus on the latest advances in biophotonics during the three-day meeting with lectures and discussions and thus give impetus to new ideas and joint projects. With wide ranging issues from laser sources for laser surgery to microscopic detectors for fat level monitoring, the programme reflects all the facets of Biophotonics.


The meeting serves as a particularly important scientific platform for young scientists, where they can show their results in poster exhibitions and learn new ideas in specialised topics. Highlights will include presentations from the nano spectroscopy experts Niek van Hulst from ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences and Volker Deckert from the German Institute of Photonic Technology - IPHT. They will provide thoughtful insights into the complex details of their work, which involves the observation of chemical elementary processes at the smallest level possible, where conventional microscopes fail.

Photonic4Life members at the scientific meeting in Barcelona


Also actively involved in the programme are the six new members: the Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi and the Joint Research Center for Health and Consumer Protection from Italy, the Center Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique from Switzerland, the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser from Greece, the Technical University of Denmark and the Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland.


Another feature of the meeting is the high proportion of women. Female scientists will give 60% of all lectures. Professor Cornelia Denz from the University of Munster, who is responsible for the graduate and postgraduate students, is especially pleased about the high number of young female scientists. "The active involvement shows that women have recognized the attractive prospects of Biophotonics and thereby self-confidently break some long-established scientific thinking barriers," says Denz.

Round Robin Experiment

Raman spectroscopy has already proved its effectiveness in many cases for medical diagnostics such as for cancer, cardiovascular diseases and infections. However, there are no standards in the different working groups, e.g. for sample preparation, implementation of the Raman experiments, spectra pre-treatment, data evaluation, etc.In a round robin experiment, the required groundwork will take place in order to define standardised Raman measurement methods, which will be fundamental for establishing Raman spectroscopy for clinical diagnostic procedures.

Latest News

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Continuing the success of the previous meetings held in Sacramento, Ottawa, Jena, and Florence, the 5th conference will come to Perth, Western Australia, running over two full days, and back-to-back with the Science on the Swan medical research conference, which delegates are strongly encouraged to also attend, at discounted rates. [more]

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