19 April 2012

The light patch

Photonics4Life partner wins innovation award

On Wednesday Italian researchers have won the first prize in the Innovation Village Awards of the Photonics Europe, the largest conference on optical research in Europe. The group from the Biophotonics network Photonics4Life competed with 16 other projects in the contest with a handy device that stops bleedings with light.

The jury complimented the marketable invention of the researchers from Florence with a prize money of 1500 €. The compact device consists of a diode which emits blue light with a wavelength that almost exclusively heats hemoglobin in red blood cells and so accelerates the healing process greatly without damaging other tissue. In medical studies, the Italians were able to show that wounds heal twice as fast when they are irradiated with their special light. For people in which the clotting of blood is disturbed, for example, by a genetic defect or ingestion of beta-blockers, even minor injuries can be dangerous. For them, the scientists have developed a first-aid device for personal use. At the Photonics Europe in Brussels, the researchers also show a device for use in hospitals. By transporting the light directly to the wound through optical fibers it is ideally suited for the use in dental and eye clinics and plastic surgery.

"The project is a perfect example of how to develop new tools for rapid diagnostics and affordable therapies in collaboration with medical professionals and small businesses," says Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp, Coordinator of Photonics4Life from Jena. "Only by working together with engineers and physicians the the life sciences can improve the future health care considerably. " In Brussels the network Photonics4Life presents another biophotonics project, a pressure sensor catheter for the examination of the esophagus. The few millimeters thin catheter can survey the swallowing process in the entire esophagus at once. The Group of the Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) from Jena uses fiber Bragg gratings to do so – when mechanical pressure is applied the grating-like structures bends and the light running through the fiber is reflected correspondingly.

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.

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5th International Conference on Biophotonics

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