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Microscopy & Biophotonics

The term biophotonics denotes a combination of biology and photonics, with photonics being the science of direct manipulation of photons, quantum units of light. Photonics is related to electronics in that it is believed that photons will play a similar central role in future information technology as electrons do today.

Biophotonics has therefore become the established general term for all techniques that deal with the relation of biological material and photons. This refers to emission, detection, absorption, reflection, modification, and creation of radiation from living organisms and organic material. Areas of application are life science, medicine, agriculture, and environmental science.

Many optical visualization techniques applied to the study of living tissues have to work at photon-limiting levels of signal. This is particularly the case for in vivo fluorescence studies. The requirement to work at ultra-low light levels has spurred the development of advanced imaging detectors (such as cooled, charge-coupled devices, CCD’s) with high photon detection efficiencies and microscopes with low-loss optics. In order to make optimum use of such low-light level microscopes, advanced digital electronics is needed together with computer algorithms that can enhance photon-limited images.
CCD arrays are imaging devices, not single detectors as are used in laser scanning microscopes. CCDs are extensively used for wide-field, in vivo fluorescence microscopy because of their high-sensitivity and relative simplicity.

Photonic crystals detect chemical/biological agents image
Photonic crystallite titanium dioxide in sunscreens image
Photonic crystals detect chemical/biological agents
Photonic crystallite titanium dioxide in sunscreens

 

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