Light-Based Technologies 'See' Through Walls, Monitor Cancer Treatments and Air Pollution, Preserve Artworks, More

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 07/06/15 -- Co-located major European conferences in optical metrology and biomedical optics in Munich, Germany, 21-25 June, featured highlights including two Nobel Laureates presenting in an International Year of Light (IYL2015) session on their work to enhance the resolution of microscopes.

SPIE Optical Metrology (SPIE OM) and the SPIE/OSA European Conferences on Biomedical Optics (ECBO) speakers covered applications of light-based technologies ranging from monitoring air pollution and preserving valuable artworks and cultural sites to "seeing" through walls. The conferences were held in conjunction with Laser World of Photonics at Messe München.

Nobel Laureates Stefan Hell (Max Planck Institute Göttingen) and Eric Betzig (Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute) described the paths that led to their discoveries and how their work has greatly enhanced cellular imaging capabilities.

Hell explained now optical microscopy images cell functions in a minimally invasive manner, and Betzig discussed results obtained with super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, the development for which he, Hell, and W.E. Moerner (Stanford University) were recognized with the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Ramesh Raskar (MIT Media Lab) described his lab's work in reconstructing paths taken by photons undergoing multiple reflections to determine scenes in cases without direct line of sight, or "seeing" around corners, and using high-speed femto- and nanosecond photography with a smartphone to allow for a mobile way to conduct retinal scans.

John Delaney (U.S. National Gallery of Art) described how reflection imaging spectroscopy provides both spectral and spatial information to enable applications such as pigment analysis to test for authenticity and aid in restoration, and identification of images underneath the surface.

Warren Warren (Duke University) explained how femtosecond pump-probe microscopy, already used in biomedical imaging, can help identify age of a painting, provide details about the firing process of pottery, or study mold growth.

Kishan Dholakia (University of St. Andrews) spoke on using Airy beams in single-plane illumination microscopy to provide a rapid, wide-field-of-view imaging scheme with low sample phototoxicity, enhancing resolution and field of view.

Katarina Svanberg (Lund University Hospital) introduced ECBO Light for Life plenary hot-topic talks on developments in areas such as tissue imaging and disease and treatment monitoring, and discussed translation to clinical use. Speakers were Brett Bouma (Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Harvard University), Quincy Brown (Tulane University), Hamid Deghani (University of Birmingham), Vasilis Ntziachristos (Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen GmbH), Francesco Pavone (European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy), Peter So (MIT), Ronald Sroka (Laser Foschungslabor), and Alex Vitkin, (Ontario Cancer Institute).

More information on talks is posted in the event news pages, at and

SPIE President Toyohiko Yatagai presented the 2015 Dennis Gabor Award to Kazuyoshi Itoh (Osaka University) recognizing Itoh's work in coherence-based multispectral and 3D imaging.

A luncheon for SPIE Fellows and students featuring a talk by IYL2015 steering committee chair John Dudley and an evening reception were cosponsored by Light2015 and SPIE Europe.

Photonics industry watchers heard an update from SPIE Industry and Market Analyst Steve Anderson on the ongoing survey by SPIE.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2014.

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