August 16, 2021
Photons Canada news

Photonics Devices in Biophotonics

Photonics devices are used in Biophotonics and here are some of them: sensors, lasers, and spectroscopy devices. Microscopes have been a tool for observing the biological material for ages.

New development in Biophotonics is increasing the detailed observation and interaction of light with biological matter and is used in medicine to treat and create noninvasive or minimally invasive methods of treatment.

As detailed in a recent paper by the Canadian National research center (NRC), biosensing applications are driving an increase in demand for low-cost photodetectors with sensitivity between 1000 and 1400 nm. Recently, the sensitivity of Ag₂Se colloidal quantum dot based devices in this wavelength range has been observed. In the paper titled” Near-ifrared-II photodetectors based on silver selenide quantum dots on mesoporous TiO₂ scaffolds” they make the first demonstration of an Ag₂Se photodiode device with sensitivity in this entire range of 1000-1400nm. The results demonstrate that Ag₂Se colloidal quantum dots offer a low-toxicity route for low-cost fabrication of near-infrared photodetectors.

In the article published in the July/August feature of BioPhotonics titled “Quantum Cascade Lasers Boost Life Science Research” the authors are presenting the use and history of Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) focusing on the Mid-Infrared QCL imaging that helps spectroscopists to analyze tissue sections and perform drug analysis. It also enables real-time, online glucose monitoring.

“Despite these remarkable achievements and tremendous contributions to life sciences and medicine, there are significant challenges and yet exciting opportunities in biophotonics. Inherently, depth of optical penetration in biological materials remains limited to a few cm. Furthermore, increased optical penetration depth is accompanied by decreased spatial resolution. Methodologies that can enable increased penetration depth and spatial resolution would have great impact in photo-therapeutics and optical imaging applications. In vivo measurements of optical properties can lead to development of real time diagnostics, guided-therapies and evaluation of therapeutic interventions. Multiplexed molecular sensing and development of new probes that can provide high sensitivity and specificity present another arena for further developments. Compact and miniatured devices, and wearable and implantable sensors would be of immense value for use at home, and at point-of-care and resource-limited settings.” Cites the author of the article of “Great Challenges and opportunities in BioPhotonics Bahman Anvari from University of California, Riverside.

He continues by saying:” The current COVID-19pandemic illustrates the need for such practical, inexpensive, and easy-to-use devices that can provide rapid and accurate diagnostics. Light-based theranostic technologies integrated with molecular and genomic profiling would provide capabilities for combined sensing/diagnostics/imaging and therapeutics on personalized basis. Photonic technologies will have important roles in high throughput drug screening, in vivo tracking of drugs biodistribution, and mediating localized and controlled-release of drugs. A better understanding of the immune response and the role of various inflammatory cells and signaling biomolecules to light can lead to development of more effective phototherapeutic methods. The progress in artificial intelligence, including machine learning, data mining, big data analysis, and computational power provide opportunities for closer interactions and integrations with biophotonics toward automated feature and pattern identifications that may otherwise not be possible. Such interactions will also be increasingly useful for applications in environmental monitoring including the assessment of climate change and marine life, and in food and agricultural monitoring for pathogens and toxins detections as well as soil and vegetation evaluation.”, and I could not agree more with the picture portrayed of the use of photonics devices in biophotonics.


Near-ifrared-II photodetectors based on silver selenide quantum dots on mesoporous TiO₂ scaffolds – NRC Publications Archive –

Quantum Cascade Lasers Boost Life Science Research | Features | Jul/Aug 2021 | BioPhotonics

(PDF) Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Biophotonics (

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