University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto
Biophotonics, the convergence between optical and life sciences, is rapidly evolving as a key enabler of many diagnostic, therapeutic and analytic methods in clinical medicine and biomedical research. Much of this progress depends on advances in the underlying optical biophysics of how light interacts with biomolecules, cells and tissues and in the engineering translation of this understanding into practical devices, materials and methods. In addition, nanotechnologies, particularly plasmonic (i.e. light-sensitive) nanoparticles, are also emerging rapidly as enabling tools that synergize with photonics. These advances will be illustrated by several specific examples drawn mainly from the clinical domain of cancer imaging and treatment. These include: the use of light-activated drugs; fluorescence and Raman spectroscopies for early cancer detection; and optical image-guided surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Throughout, the focus will be on how collaboration between physicists and engineers with other physical and biomedical scientists and with clinical specialists, working as truly interdisciplinary teams, is essential to “bring light and nano to life”.