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This Conference is FREE, advance registration is requested.

Significant advances in the development of optical techniques have led to an ever increasing role of photonics in the study of various problems in the biomedical and life sciences, in medicine, clinical sciences, neurophysiology etc.

Researchers are continually looking for better ways to analyse complex processes and photonics underpins many of the most promising approaches for medical diagnosis, drug development & other clinical and life science applications.
The meeting aim is to fire your imagination. Speakers will present their latest work in this field and will give attendees an invaluable opportunity to learn about the latest photonics techniques.

Download the Programme Download the Call for Posters

The conference will explore recent developments and uses of photonics in the life sciences including future clinical applications. This is the ninth conference which changes venue from year to year.

The conference programme comprises presentations by invited speakers from academia and selected professional updates from industry, there will be a ‘poster session’ of contributed papers from early career scientists who are researching novel and exciting new techniques or unique applications.



Exhibition opens and welcome refreshments




Endoscopic microscopy - trials, tribulations and aspirations
Dr Nikola Krstajic, University of Dundee


Microscopy has been applied for centuries in the study of the structure of plant and animal tissues. These are all either “static” specimens (i.e. fixed) or live cells extracted from tissues of interest and kept alive (i.e. cultured). Brightfield and fluorescence microscopy with a plethora of related techniques underpin our biology and physiology know-how. However, biological processes take place spatially in a sub-micron world within complex systemic events of a large organism and temporally, on time scales from femtoseconds to many years.

Therefore, observing these events in situ and in vivo has been one of the main aims for many researchers. I will describe the overall context of macroscopic and microscopic imaging and delve further into invasive methods to extract more information from - MORE


Clinical applications of single photon detection including locating medical devices deep within tissue
Dr Mike Tanner, Heriot-Watt University


The UK-EPSRC Proteus project is moving advanced research technologies towards clinical implementation. These have included bespoke optical fibres for imaging and sensing and compact fluorescent Optical Endo-Microscopy (OEM) imaging systems.

Here I introduce the application of cutting edge single photon detection technologies for clinical applications such as time resolved fibre spectroscopy and imaging and highlight the application of medical device location deep within tissue.

Optical fibre based endoscopes are increasingly used within the human body without navigational guidance of the miniaturised - MORE


A Non-Invasive Spectroscopic Technique for Detecting Liver Damage
Dr Colin Campbell, Optima CDT


As the Director my role has been to design and establish the training programme that is an integral part of the CDT.

I think that we’ve put together a program that’s really exciting and I would love to do if I was a student all over again. Optical Medical Imaging is exciting and it’s also challenging I think we’ve put together a CDT that offers exciting research opportunities along with the support required to succeed in a multidisciplinary environment - MORE


Refreshments in the exhibition area


KEYNOTE: Imaging and tracking single plasmonic nanoparticles in 3D background-free with four-wave mixing interferometry
Prof Paola Borri, Cardiff University


Imaging and tracking single nanoparticles using optical microscopy are powerful techniques with many applications in biology, chemistry, and material sciences. Despite significant advances, imaging single particles in a scattering environment as well as localizing objects with nanometric position precision remains challenging.

Applied methods to achieve contrast are dominantly fluorescence based, with fundamental limits in the emitted photon fluxes arising from the excited-state lifetime as well as photobleaching. Here, I will present a new four-wave mixing interferometry technique, whereby single nonfluorescing gold nanoparticles are imaged background-free even inside biological cells, and their position is determined with nanometric precision in 3D - MORE


Ultra-lightweight and Super-sensitive: Novel biomedical applications of flexible membrane lasers and biointegrated microlasers
Dr Marcel Schubert, University of St. Andrews

  Dr Marcel Schubert, University of St. Andrews

Laser light has developed into an almost universal tool with numerous applications in medicine and the live sciences. However, interfacing laser sources with biological samples, including single cells, tissue and whole organisms remains a challenging task due to the rigid and bulky nature of commercial lasers.

By imprinting distributed feedback structures into free standing, nanometer-thin polymer membranes we were able to fabricate highly flexible and ultra-lightweight membrane lasers that are easily integrated onto skin and contact lenses. In another approach, microlasers are integrated into the cytoplasm of living cells. Here, their unique emission profile can - MORE


Stretching red blood cells with optical tweezers
Prof Philip Jones, University College, London

  Prof Philip Jones, University College, London

In this work we report on experiments to measure the deformability of red blood cells (RBCs) when subject to stretching with optical tweezers. Individual red blood cells are trapped directly in a dual optical tweezers, and subject to a stretching protocol that is the same for all cells under test.

Differences in the resulting extension are therefore indicative of differences in cell deformability. The targets for investigation are RBCs taken from patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who exhibit diabetic retinopathy (DR), and from patients with birdshot chorioretinopathy (BCR). We find a statistically significant change in deformability for RBCs from DR patients compared to a control group, but no significant - MORE


Closing remarks


Lunch Break

13:00 Poster session in the exhibition hall.
  1. Multispectral Fibre Imaging of Lung Disease
Helen E. Parker, University of Edinburgh
  2. Development of a new diagnostic method for Human African Trypanosomiasis using Raman spectroscopy
Alexandre Girard, University of Glasgow
  3. Long-Term Imaging of Cellular Forces with High Precision by Elastic Resonator Interference Stress Microscopy (ERISM)
Eleni Dalaka, University of St Andrews
  4. Real-time and non-invasive measurements of cell mechanical behaviour using optical coherence phase microscopy
Dawn Gillies, Optima - University of Edinburgh
  5. Fabrication of multicore-fiber based tweezers for single cell manipulation
Georgia Anastasiadi; Heriot-Watt University
  6. High-performance Time-to-digital Converters (TDC: high-precision stopwatches) and TDC Arrays for Time-resolved Measurements
David Li, University of Strathclyde
  7. Liquid crystal lasers: Novel light sources for biomedical sciences
Peigang. Chen, University of Edinburgh

Poster Submission

Authors should complete a MSWord template downloadable from the website.

>>Template for poster submission
>>Download the Call for Posters

This meetings is free to attend:

Register to visit Photonex Scotland



Advances in photonic techniques for biomedical science

Dr Pierre Bagnaninchi
Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh

Dr Tom Brown
Reader in Photonics
University of St Andrews

Prof Gail McConnell

Chair of Biophotonics at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde

Dr Ally McInroy
Senior Programme Manager, Technology Scotland

Dr Lynn Paterson
Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering, Heriot-Watt University

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