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Photonics techniques for medical processes



At one of the world’s leading trade fair LASER World of PHOTONICS (June 26 to 29, 2017 in Munich) exhibitors, application panels and symposiums will demonstrate just how closely medical progress is intertwined with photonics techniques.

 - New photonic trends at the LASER World of PHOTONICS in Munich.
© Messe München
New photonic trends at the LASER World of PHOTONICS in Munich.

Application-oriented Application Panels in Hall B2 and the European Conference on Biomedical Optics (ECBO 2017) being held in parallel with the trade fair, LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017, address topical photonics trends in medical science and research. This includes deep tissue imaging. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) enables medical professionals to look a few millimeters below the tissue surface in real-time using infrared laser. The optical systems provide 3-D scans with microscopic resolution without exposing patients to harmful radiation.

Lasers control brain functions

LASER 2017 will also shed light on a promising, young field of research: optogenetics. This uses laser to illuminate neural processes. To achieve this, researchers introduce special lightswitchable proteins into areas of the brain. The proteins enable them to use laser light selectively to control the ion flow within the neural network. Research is proceeding at breakneck speed. Brain functions and cognitive processes are proving increasingly amenable to being controlled to permit their systematic investigation.

Even the activities of individual neurons can be observed. Femtosecond lasers are being employed because they enable light manipulation even in deep brain areas. At the same time they deliver 3-D live transmissions from the functioning brain by means of multiple photon stimulation. Visitors will find out more about the applications from the biophotonics and medical technology arenas at LASER World of Photonics 2017 in Munich from June 26–29.