July 1, 2009
Together with his research team, Professor Vasilis Ntziachristos from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany and the Technical University Munich, Germany developed a new technology to make light audible. The technique, called multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography (MSOT), combines light and ultrasound to visualize fluorescent proteins that are seated several centimeters deep into living tissue.
The researchers used a genetically modified adult zebra fish which carried fluorescent pigments in its tissue. They illuminated the fish from multiple angles using flashes of laser light that are absorbed by the fluorescent pigments in the fish. The pigments absorb the light, a process that causes slight local increases of temperature, which in turn result in tiny local volume expansions. This happens very quickly and creates small shock waves. In effect, the short laser pulse gives rise to an ultrasound wave that the researchers pick up with an ultrasound microphone. To analyze the resulting acoustic patterns, a computer is attached. The computer uses specially developed mathematical formulas to evaluate and interpret the specific distortions caused by scales, muscles, bones and internal organs to generate a three-dimensional image. In the future this technology may facilitate the examination of tumors or coronary vessels in humans.
Multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography or MSOT allows the investigation of subcellular processes in live organisms.
June 25, 2009
With 1,040 exhibitors (2007: 1,008), the exposition LASER World of PHOTONICS 2009 (June 15-18, Munich, Germany) set a new record. The percentage of companies coming from outside Germany rose from 53% in 2007 to 57% this year. The exhibition area was expanded from three halls to four, which brought the total to 42,000 m² of floor space. This additional space particularly benefited the two largest exhibition segments, “Lasers and Optronics” and “Lasers and Laser Systems for Manufacturing.” With over 24,000 attending professionals, the trade show organizer’s expectations were exceeded by a small margin (2007: 26,655). A slight drop in the number of attendees from Germany is primarily due to the lower number of attending professionals from the industrial sector, which has been hit particularly hard by the current economic difficulties.
May 27, 2009
The 2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) and The International Quantum Electronics Conference (IQEC) will come to Baltimore Convention Center, US from May 31 to June 5, 2009. The 5-day event features high-quality, cutting-edge optics and photonics programming, tutorials, special symposia, short courses and a full program of networking and social events. PhotonXpo – the exhibit at CLEO, also debuting this year, will feature 350 participating companies showcasing every facet of the optics and photonics industry.
The Baltimore Convention Center
April 29, 2009
A new imaging method that could help to build more powerful microscopes and other optical devices by producing sharper images and a wider field of view has been developed by Princeton researches. The research was led by Jason Fleischer, assistant professor of electrical engineering and co-written with two graduate students Christopher Barsi and Wenjie Wan. The new method takes advantage of the unusual properties of nonlinear optical materials in which light rays mix with each other in complex ways. Thanks to the mixing of rays, information that would otherwise be lost manages to reach the detector. Therefore this picture would be rich in detail but it would also be distorted. To capture this otherwise lost visual information, the researchers used a hologram. The hologram is a special type of photograph which records “phase” – a light property which measures the time and location of a wave peak. They also combined data from a normal camera. Then they created a simplified flow of light through a nonlinear material and developed a computer algorithm that takes the distorted image and works backwards to calculate the visual information at every point in space between the image and the object.
An object illuminated by light reflects rays in many different directions (gray arrows). Left: With a normal lens, some rays are captured and refract towards a camera while others are missed, resulting in a blurry image with a limited field of view. Right: The new method uses a nonlinear material. The original rays are altered and new rays (red) are generated. The resulting picture is scrambled, but a computer algorithm can undo the mixing and yield a sharp, wide-field image. (Image: Christopher Barsi)
January 15, 2009
FEI Company has acquired substantially all of the assets of Intellection Holdings of Brisbane, Australia. Intellection’s primary product is the Qemscan automated mineralogy system. The purchase increases FEI’s presence in the automated mineralogy market for mining companies. The purchase price was approximately $2.8 million. Automated mineralogy systems identify minerals in polished sections of drill core, particulate, or lump materials and quantify a wide range of characteristics, such as mineral abundance, grain size, and liberation.