Biophotonics applied to Point of Care
In early January this year 2021 Photonics Online was promoting a webinar on Biophotonics applied to point of care. This Webinar was presenting the use of optical approaches outside specialized laboratories that require easy-to-use optical instruments with a high technology readiness level for the user. The application of spectroscopic methods to address biomedical research has grown due to advancements in instrumentation and an enhanced cross-disciplinary dialogue between spectroscopists and end users like clinicians. Juergen Popp, chair for physical chemistry at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and scientific director of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena, reported on various innovative technological concepts for bringing optical approaches closer to clinical use. He focused on molecular-sensitive spectroscopic methods - with particular emphasis on Raman spectroscopy - and their combination with other spectroscopic/optical modalities, to provide a multimodal approach. He started with novel multimodal spectroscopic instrumentation (e.g., innovative Raman fiber probes, clinically usable multimodal microscopes, or endospectroscopic probes) for precise surgical guidance and intraoperative histopathological examination of tissue under in vivo or near in vivo conditions. He also covered a high-throughput Raman spectroscopy platform for the analysis of cells. With this platform, Raman spectra of tens of thousands of cells can be rapidly measured via complete automation of the entire process chain. He introduces an automated Raman platform in combination with specially developed chips (e.g., a dielectrophoresis chip) for microbial analysis for rapid identification of sepsis pathogens and antibiotic susceptibility testing.
The use of techniques such as Raman spectroscopy, light-scattering microscopy, and fluorescence measurements (temporal and spectral domain, grouping with antigens) for detecting and identifying pathogens such as virus and bacteria, finding out biomarkers and other metabolic products, and analyzing the composition of body fluids, tissues, cells, and morphological aberrations forms some of the important research areas in point-of-care diagnostics, according to World Medicine Foundation published in 2021
They also mentioned that in their opinion, "Many governments support biophotonic research by establishing funding programs that stimulate advancement and drive collaborative research projects. Funds are being provided to research centers and research projects while supporting networking and knowledge management activities. The number of biophotonic research groups has increased considerably and is still growing across the globe."
In the links below you will also find a video by IPIC and Tyndall National Institute "Webinar 1 of the 2021 Biophotonics Workshop" titled The Big Picture of Photonics.