2016 – HealthTech Event – Photonic Systems for Life Sciences Applications

On May 25-26, 2016, the fifth edition of the HealthTech Event took place in Cork, Ireland.

This year’s edition consisted of a EPIC Workshop on Photonic Systems for Life Sciences Applications. The event was hosted by The Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork.

Renowned speakers from Tyndall National Institute, EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium), Sanmina, BOSCH, Tematys, Cambridge Consultants, VTT Technical Research Centre, Fraunhofer IWS, Haute Ecole Arc Ingénierie, Avantes, XiO Photonics, iTEAM – Photonics Research Labs, Linkra, nanoplus Nanosystems and Technologies, Ocean Optics, NIBRT, TU Delft, ImPhys, Superlum Diodes, CST, NTK Photonics, Lumerical, CEA – Leti, Multiphoton Optics and Oplatek Group shared their views and opinions on photonic systems for life sciences applications.

The titles of the presentations included: Medical Design Trends for Wearables | Integration of Mid-IR spectroscopic systems for a smarter and healthier home environment | Industrial landscape on spectrometers for the pharma, food and beverage market | Unravelling Cancer: Photonics Technology for Liquid Biopsy Applications | Photonics for life sciences and environmental monitoring at VTT | Micro physiological systems for laser-induced cell injury models | On-chip continuous IR spectroscopy detection of cocaine in human saliva | Applications for optical spectrometers within the Medical/Life Sciences Sector | Photonic IC based modules enabling Life Science Applications | Optical fibre and PIC based biosensors | Optoelectronic assembly for Lifescience application | MIR sensors in life science applications | Modular Molecular Spectroscopy – from Research to Finished Product | Transmission Optical Coherence Tomography Sensing | Semiconductor tunable lasers with acousto-optic tunable filters in 760-1100 nm wavelength range for biophotonics applications | 3D simulation of photonic components for life science applications | Supercontinuum sources for life science applications | Using photonic simulation tools to develop complex systems used in life science applications | Analytical challenges with the production of Biopharmaceuticals | MIRPHAB, pilot line for the production of mid-IR photonics devices for chemical sensing and spectroscopic applications | Partnering for Innovation | High-precision 3D printing for biomedical applications | Capabilities and services for the prototyping and manufacturing of optical systems for the life science market.

Besides the conference and the panel discussion, the event also included an exhibition. Companies such as Avantes, Coherent, CST, nanoplus Nanosystems and Technologies GmbH, Ocean Optics, Quantel and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland were present.

Find more about the 2016 program.

A photo impression of the conference can be found here.

Fast Facts on the Importance of Photonic Systems for Life Sciences Applications

Significant advances in the development of photonics technology lead to an ever increasing role in the study of and treatment of various problems in the life sciences. These include in vitro diagnostic devices used for biomedical and environmental monitoring, process analytical technologies used in the pharma, food and beverage industries, and a range of devices and systems used for life sciences research.

Despite the diverse range of applications, there are common requirements for integrating systems which combine photonic sources and detectors with electronics components, embedded software, power source etc. These systems need to be able to provide real-time characterisation of analytes and biomolecules in complex media.

In addition, developments within the umbrella of miniaturised technologies referred to as: “The Internet of Things” will enable detection and monitoring of life sciences processes in unprecedented ways, which should facilitate near patient testing for clinical and consumer applications, improved manufacturing processes for food, beverage and pharma industries.

However, key challenges exist before these expansive markets can be accessed. These include resolving fouling issues on device surfaces for enabling continuous monitoring, miniaturisation of systems, etc.

The complexity of the supply chain management and impacts on regulatory issues such as in the pharma sector will also need to be discussed.

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