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11 June 2012

Hot topics, cool school: Next-generation medical imaging at NUI Galway

Jijo Ulahannan
(SPIE Member Jijo Ulahannan, assistant professor at Government College Kasaragod in India, is among students at the biophotonics and imaging graduate summer school 7-13 June at the National University of Ireland [NUI] Galway. He filed this guest blog with a first-hand report.)

The international Biophotonics and Imaging Graduate Summer School (BIGSS 2012) is underway in the beautiful coastal city of Galway focusing on two of the hottest topics in the field of biophotonics, namely optical coherence tomography (OCT) and photoacoustic imaging.

About 30 graduate students and early career professionals are here for the event, which is organized by the NUI Galway Applied Optics group and chaired by Professor Martin Leahy who also leads the National Biophotonics Platform Ireland. Major sponsors are SPIE and Photonics4Life.

The summer school brings the past, present and trends for the future of biophotonics and microscopic imaging techniques to aspiring young graduates and post-doctoral fellows.

Major areas being covered in the graduate school are fundamentals and applications of OCT and photoacoustic imaging as well as microscopic techniques and optical trapping for biophotonics applications. The school also has a competitive edge in the form of a poster competition for students.

Biophotonics today touches the human life more than ever by providing several harmless diagnostic techniques that are cheap compared to other imaging methods such as MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, and others.

According to experts, biophotonics ― especially OCT ― has reached a peak research scenario, and several commercially viable products are now entering the market.

Almost all of the participants are motivated by the change that this type of research can bring to the world by providing low-cost, nondestructive and totally safe optical imaging devices.

Some of the participants want to contribute to medical diagnostics by developing new cheap and portable devices that can serve much of the developing world. We today compete with the cost of sources, high-speed detection devices and the time-consuming computational techniques.
The school began with the review presentation of Professor Wolfgang Drexler of Medizinische Universit├Ąt Wien, to be followed by eight other leading experts in the field who have arrived from all over the world. We hope to learn more about the competing world of high resolution, high speed, and multispectral imaging techniques.

It is also important to develop the skills of commercializing new findings. We are therefore very much looking forward to the live demonstrations and the session on marketing techniques at the end of the summer school.

BIGSS 2012 participants are motivated by the potential of biophotonics to provide cheaper, safer medical imaging with potential to serve the developing world.

2 comments:

  1. congratulations! looking forward for your success...


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  2. Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you!

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