Optics and the Brain

25 April 2016 – 28 April 2016 The Diplomat Resort and Spa, Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States

The US BRAIN initiative and European Human Brain Project in Europe have recognized that gaining a better understanding the brain is a critical frontier in science and medicine. These initiatives have identified the urgent need for new technologies that can probe the working brain, across all levels from single neurons to entire behaving organisms. Optics offers a unique toolkit for multiscale imaging the living and intact brain, while new genetic labeling strategies provide optical contrast to neural function and optogenetics permits the control of cellular function with light. Optics and the Brain is thus an important, highly interdisciplinary area of research that combines broad aspects of neuroscience, biology, medicine, physics, chemistry and engineering.
This conference will bring together researchers working in all aspects of optics in the brain and will serve as a forum for discussion of existing and emerging techniques as well as future directions capable of shedding new light on the healthy and diseased brain.

1. Optics in the Human Brain
  • Optical neuroimaging
  • Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
  • Intrasurgical brain optical imaging
  • Fiber-optic probes, spectroscopy and endoscopic imaging
  • Optical modulation of the human central nervous system
  • Retinal neuroscience
 2. Novel contrast, Optogenetics and Optical Modulation Tools and Techniques 
  • Genetically encoded calcium and voltage indicators
  • Novel forms of functional contrast
  • New genetic strategies for optogenetics
  • Optrode and electrode hardware for excitation and / or recording
  • Modeling and overcoming scatter in optogenetics
3. Whole brain imaging: techniques and big data 
  • Light sheet microscopy
  • Novel techniques for in-vivo and in-vitro whole-brain imaging and actuation
  • Zebrafish, Drosophila and similar small organisms
  • CLARITY and structural imaging, animal to human
  • Optical data management and analysis strategies
 4. Ultrasound and optical hybrids
  • Photoacoustics / optoacoustics
  • Acousto-optic approaches
  • Acoustic modulation of neural activity
  • Combined optical / PET / CT / MRI
 5. Label-free imaging of the brain
  • Intrinsic signals: hemodynamics
  • Intrinsic signals: scattering
  • Polarization, second harmonic generation
  • Raman spectroscopy, CARS and SRS in the brain
 6. Brain disorders and disease
  • Application of optical imaging strategies to Alzheimer’s, stroke, epilepsy etc.
  • Photothrombosis
  • Optical therapeutics
  • Photodynamic therapy
7. Optical imaging and microscopy techniques for functional brain imaging
  • In-vivo two-photon microscopy
  • Wide-field / multisite optical recordings
  • Novel techniques for functional brain imaging and microscopy: deeper / faster / 3D
  • Adaptive optics corrections
  • Wearable microscopes
Robert Alfano, CUNY City CollegeUnited States, Invited

Katrin Amunts, Forschungszentrum Julich GmbHGermanyUltra-high Resolution Models of the Human Brain – Computational and Neuroscientific Challenges, Invited

Polina Anikeeva, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited StatesOptoelectronic and Magnetic Manipulation of Neural Circuits, Invited

Brian Bacskai, Massachusetts General HospitalUnited StatesMultiphoton Imaging of Structure and Function in Mouse Models of Alzheimer's Disease, Invited

David Boas, Harvard Medical SchoolUnited StatesOptical Imaging of Oxygen Delivery and Consumption : Guiding Interpretation of BOLD fMRI, Invited

Daniel Cote, Universite LavalCanadaImaging, Sensing and Controlling the Spinal Cord, Invited

Joseph Culver, Washington University in St LouisUnited StatesMapping Functional Connectivity in Mice and Humans with Light, Invited

Hod Dana, HHMI - Janelia Farm Research CampusUnited StatesApplications of Red Calcium Indicators for Imaging Neural Activity, Invited

Dimitrios Davalos, Cleveland ClinicUnited StatesMicroglial Responses to Blood Brain Barrier Disruption in Neuroinflammatory Disease, Invited

Patrick Drew, Pennsylvania State UniversityUnited StatesOptical Dissection of Mesoscale Cerebral Hemodynamics in the Behaving Brain, Invited

Jaime Grutzendler, Yale UniversityLabel-free Confocal Reflectance and 2-photon Microscopy of Myelinated Axons and Microvasculature in Live Mice , Invited

Timothy Holy, Washington University in St LouisUnited StatesImaging Deeper with with Single-photon Illumination, Invited

Benjamin Judkewitz, Charité Berlin, Humboldt UniversityGermanyDeep-tissue Imaging with Time-reversed Light, Invited

Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Vanderbilt UniversityUnited StatesInsight into the Biophysical Mechanisms of Infrared Neural Stimulation, Invited

Wei Min, Columbia UniversityUnited StatesOptical Imaging of Vibrationally-Tagged Small Molecules for Biomedicine, Invited

Nozomi Nishimura, Cornell UniversityUnited StatesCellular Interactions in Neurological Disease: Nonlinear Optics for in vivo Studies, Invited

Arto Nurmikko, Brown UniversityUnited StatesOn Multifunctional optoelectronic Probes for the Brain, Invited

Daniel Razansky, Technical University of MunichGermanyThe Promise of Large-scale Neural Recording with Optoacoustics, Invited

Francois St-Pierre, Baylor College of MedicineUnited StatesImaging Neural Electrical Activity with Ultrafast Fluorescent Proteins, Invited


Elizabeth HillmanColumbia University, United States
Francesco PavoneEuropean Lab for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Italy


Joseph CulverWashington University in St Louis, United States

NIRFAST Workshop
24 April
This workshop provides a hands-on tutorial for the modeling of diffuse light propagation in tissue, parameter recovery and data analysis.  There is no registration fee to attend this workshop but an application and registration is required. Visit the Nirfast page for more information.

OSA Meet-the-Professionals Luncheon (Members only - RSVP Required)
25 April, 12:30 - 13:30
Room 214, Second Level
Presider: Christine Herndon, Columbia University
OSA Members: Students and young professionals are invited to meet participating professionals in the field biomedical optics field from academia, industry and government. This RSVP-only lunch is a casual opportunity to network with chairs, committee members and exhibitors. Lunch is complimentary for all confirmed attendees; note the capacity for the event is 50 members. 
Participating professionals include:
  • Stephen Boppart, Chair, Clinical and Translational Biophotonics, Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Christine Hendon, Committee MemberClinical and Translational Biophotonics, Columbia University
  • Elizabeth Hillman, Chair, Optics and the Brain, Columbia University
  • Christoph Hitzenberger, Chair, Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy, Editor-in Chief, Biomedical Optics Express, Medizinische Universität Wien
  • Mary Lou Jepsen, Facebook
  • Bernard Querleux, L'Oréal
  • Francesco Pavone, Chair, Optics and the Brain, European Lab for Non-Linear Spectroscopy
  • Brian Pogue, Committee Member, Dartmouth College
  • David Sampson, Chair of Cancer Imaging and Therapy, University of Western Australia
  • Matthias Schulze, Coherent, Inc

Postdeadline Poster Preview Session
26 April, 13:00 - 13:30
Grand Ballroom East
Selected papers will present a short oral poster preview in a special Postdeadline Session leading into Tuesday's Joint Poster session.  All accepted Postdeadline presenters will be presenting a poster in addition to the poster preview. 

Dinner Cruise on The Grand Floridian
26 April, 18:00–21:00
Diplomat Resort & Spa, Diplomat Landing, Marina Dock
Cruise the Intracoastal waterway and enjoy dinner on a spectacular luxury yacht that offers four decks, a covered sky lounge and a spacious top deck for ocean views.
18:00 – 18:30 Boarding
18:30 Cruise Departure
18:30 – 20:00 Cruise and Dinner Buffet
20:00 Return to Dock
21:00 Final Disembark

Industry Panel - An Introduction to the Regulatory Process: How to Get From Technology Development into Real Life Use
27 April, 10:30 - 12:00
Grand Ballroom West
Panelists from the regulatory, consulting, and industry communities will inform us on the process and the do’s and don’ts of obtaining regulatory approval. From success stories, and some misadventures, we will learn from the panelists what is required for success. Bring questions and expect a highly interactive session with those who have ventured down this road.

Bright Ideas Pitch Panel Luncheon
An Invitation to Present Your New Technology and Innovative Ideas
27 April, 12:00 - 13:30
Grand Ballroom West
Do you have a startup or an idea for a new company?  Present your technology, explain why it’s valuable and discuss the next steps to commercialization.

Town Hall Forum on Biophotonics Commercialization
27 April, 17:30 - 19:30
Grand Ballroom West
Please join us for an open town-hall meeting, where thought leaders debate and share perspectives that are critical to the rapidly expanding biophotonics market.

Biomedical Optics Feature Issue
A special issue from OSA's Biomedical Optics Congress will be published in Biomedical Optics Express. All presenters of oral talks and posters are welcome to submit an expanded paper to the special issue. 

Insertable, Implantable and Wearable Micro-optical Devices for the Early Detection of Cancer
Christopher Contag
Stanford UniversityUnited States

Monday, 25 April, 09:45 - 10:30

Abstract: Current technologies for the detection of cancer lack the sensitivity for early detection at times when therapy would be most effective, and cannot detect minimal residual disease that persists after conventional therapies. Therefore, it will be necessary to develop image-guided approaches for multiplexed molecular characterization of cancer and methods to visualize small numbers of cancer initiating cells. Imaging and sensing will need to move from detection limits of 1 cm to 1 mm, or even 100 µm diameter masses, and new technologies with this sensitivity need to be developed. Optical imaging has the sensitivity for this level of detection and there are a number of recent advances that will enable the use of optics in the clinic for cancer detection. New instruments based on micro-optical designs can be used to reach in the body to reveal microanatomic and molecular detail that are indicators of early cancers. We are advancing the technologies that enable miniaturization of 3-D scanning confocal microscopes and Raman endoscopes to examine tissue in situ for early anatomic and molecular indicators of disease, in real time, and at cellular resolution. These new devices will lead to a shift from the current diagnostic paradigm of biopsy followed by histopathology and recommended therapy, to one of non-invasive point-of-care diagnosis with the possibility of treatment in the same session. By creating the tools for point-of-care pathology we are reducing the time and distance between the patient and the diagnostic event, and changing the practice of medicine. The emerging combinations of instruments and molecular probe strategies will reveal disease states in finer detail and provide greater information to clinicians for more informed, and directed therapies. Personalized medicine is really molecular medicine and the new imaging and diagnostic tools that characterize molecular basis of disease are driving personalized care and early intervention.

Advances in Measuring Cerebral Oxygen Delivery and Consumption in the Clinic with Near Infrared Spectroscopy

Maria Angela Franceschini
Massachusetts General HospitalUnited States

Tuesday, 26 April, 08:00 - 08:45

Abstract: With the foundation of our seminal frequency-domain near infrared spectroscopy (FD-NIRS) and diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) efforts with neonates established, we are now developing novel devices and approaches to better quantify cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism in the clinical setting. I will present the first fully integrated FD-NIRS/DCS commercial system. I will show results of this technology in measuring infants affected by hydrocephalus in Africa, and measuring pediatric and adult patients in intensive care settings in Boston. In parallel to the clinical translation of the established FD-NIRS/DCS technology, we have also advanced the field and developed totally new approaches which have the potential to be rapidly translated into a clinically viable, non-invasive, comprehensive cerebral hemodynamic monitoring method with significant advantages over existing methods. In particular, time-domain diffuse correlation spectroscopy (TD-DCS) is a novel technology which enables us for the first time to employ time-gating strategies used in TD-NIRS to DCS cerebral blood flow measurements and realize improvements which are not possible when the two techniques are performed independently. The development of DCS devices with fast acquisition rates allow us to acquire cerebral blood flow variations due to the cardiac cycle. We are the first to explore the possibility of using the pulsatile blood flow to assess intracranial pressure continuously and non-invasively.

Optical Coherence Tomography: From Research to Clinical Practice

James Fujimoto
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States

Wednesday, 27 April, 08:00 - 08:40

Abstract: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses echoes of light to generate micron resolution, cross-sectional and three-dimensional images of microstructure in materials and biological systems.  Since it development 25 years ago, OCT has been applied in multiple clinical specialties as well as in fundamental science, with an extensive international research community.  In ophthalmology, OCT has become a standard of care for the diagnosis and monitoring of retinal disease and played a major role in the development of new pharmaceutical therapies.  Tens of millions of imaging procedures are performed worldwide every year.  Functional methods such as Doppler or OCT angiography enable measurement of blood flow and 3D visualization of microvasculature.  In conjunction with fiber optic catheters and novel imaging devices, OCT can perform internal body imaging and is an emerging modality for intravascular and endoscopic imaging. Next generation swept source OCT enables high speeds with gigavoxel data sets as well as meter ranges with micron level precision.  The development of OCT required multidisciplinary teams spanning science, engineering, clinical medicine and business.  This presentation will review the history OCT as an example of translation from research to clinical practices, as well as comment on current advances and future prospects.

From Brownsville to Blantyre: How Optical Technologies Can Improve Health Care in Low-Resource Settings

Rebecca Richards-Kortum
Rice UniversityUnited States

Monday, 25 April, 09:00 - 09:45

Abstract: Quality healthcare begins with accurate diagnosis.  Despite advances in laboratory medicine, many patients do not have access to high quality diagnostics, either because they live in a region of the world where they are unavailable or because they cannot access to existing healthcare systems.  Low-cost optical diagnostics that can be performed at the point-of-care have the potential to eliminate disparities in access to diagnostics.  Using examples from the US and sub-Saharan Africa, this talk will highlight existing diagnostic challenges, discuss successful strategies to develop and deploy low-cost diagnostic tools to meet these needs, and review barriers to future success.

Commercialization of OCT: Some Views on the Past, Present, and Future
Eric Swanson

Wednesday, 27 April, 09:20 - 10:00

Abstract: The commercialization and growth of OCT which has occurred over the past 25 years has been highly impactful, scientifically, clinically, and economically.  Many factors have helped drive this success starting with the clinical need for new cost-effective high-resolution minimally-invasive imaging solutions for various diagnostic and therapeutic applications.  But equally important to this success was the intertwined role of researchers, professional societies, government agencies, government funding, regulatory bodies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and small and large corporate entities within biomedical optics industry and in completely adjacent areas such as telecommunication, computer, and software industries.  This talk will review some of the history, current status, and speculate on what looks like a very exciting future for OCT with so many novel technological advances on the horizon and so many promising applications remaining to be commercialized that will further benefit healthcare and improve quality of life.

25 Years of OCT: A Revolution in Ophthalmic Care
Cynthia Toth
Duke UniversityUnited States

Wednesday, 27 April, 08:40 - 09:20

Abstract: The first human applications of optical coherence tomography were reported in the eye 25 years ago. This technology has revolutionized the patient examination and the diagnosis of the vast majority of retinal and optic nerve  diseases. Evolution of the technology has included spectral domain OCT and swept source OCT which alone provided new possibilities in imaging due to increase in speed of image acquisition and depth of penetration in ocular tissues. Image processing and segmentation are just a few of the visualization and analytic methods which have enabled the precise assessment of tissues of interest. Together, these have been critical for staging of disease and monitoring response to therapy. This ophthalmic technology continues to evolve with OCT angiography as just one of the new non-invasive applications which has displaced conventional intravenous dye injection for retinal evaluation. Furthermore, the technology is shifting from the photography suite to applications for intrasurgical visualization and more importantly for microsurgical guidance. Ophthalmology is the perfect field for the application of OCT-guided surgery as will be demonstrated in this presentation. OCT imaging of the retina (part of the central nervous system) is also capable of revealing brain injury from disease or maldevelopment in both children and adults. Thus across a spectrum of ophthalmic care, OCT is the first line of visualization of disease processes within the eye and determination of response to treatment. It is expected to play an even greater role in guiding future treatment in real time. As seen over the past 25 years, areas of ophthalmic OCT research today are likely to progress to routine OCT applications of tomorrow.    

Photoacoustic Tomography: Ultrasonically Beating Optical Diffusion and Diffraction
Lihong Wang
Washington University in St LouisUnited States

Tuesday, 26 April, 08:45 - 09:30

Abstract: Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), combining optical and ultrasonic waves via the photoacoustic effect, provides in vivo functional, metabolic, molecular, and histologic imaging. PAT has the unique strength of high-resolution imaging across the length scales of organelles, cells, tissues, organs, and small-animal organisms with consistent contrast. PAT has the potential to empower holistic omniscale biology research and accelerate translation from microscopic laboratory discoveries to macroscopic clinical practice. Broad applications include imaging of the breast, brain, skin, esophagus, colon, vascular system, and lymphatic system in both animals and humans.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Grand Ballroom West

An Introduction to the Regulatory Process
How to Get from Technology Development into Real Life Use

10:30 - 12:00

Panelists from the regulatory, consulting, and industry communities will inform us on the process and the do’s and don’ts of obtaining regulatory approval. From success stories, and some misadventures, we will learn from the panelists what is required for success. Bring questions and expect a highly interactive session with those who have ventured down this road.

Vadim Backman, Northwestern University, USA
Richard B. Dorshow, PhDChief Scientific Officer, MediBeacon, Inc., USA
Daniel Schultz, M.D.Principal, Medical Devices & Combination Products, Greenleaf Health LLC, USA

Bright Ideas Pitch Panel Luncheon
An Invitation to Present Your New Technology and Innovative Ideas

12:00 - 13:30

Do you have a startup or an idea for a new company?  Present your technology, explain why it’s valuable and discuss the next steps to commercialization.

This is a unique opportunity to present and collaborate with entrepreneurs and venture capital panelists about your emerging company and/or new technologies that may offer solutions to the challenges faced by professionals in biomedical optics.

  • Share your dream and receive valuable direction from those that have experienced the excitement and trepidation of starting a photonics business.
  • Get both immediate market and investor feedback during the “OSA Bright Ideas Luncheon” by presenting your idea to the Entrepreneur and VC Panel.
  • Our panel of experts will give you their advice on what you need to do to launch a new company or take your startup to the next level.
  • In return for your brief presentation you will get the benefit of our panel’s decades of experience in commercializing photonics.
  • 5-minute presentations will be followed by comments and suggestions from our panel of experts.

Scott ColeridgeVenture Investor, Morningside Technology Advisory, USA
Richard B. Dorshow, PhDChief Scientific Officer, MediBeacon, Inc., USA
Daniel SchultzPrincipal, Medical Devices & Combination Products, Greenleaf Health LLC, USA
Eric SwansonEntrepreneur, USA

Don’t miss this opportunity. Contact Jessica Pagonis, jpagonis@osa.org, today to secure your spot at the Bright Ideas Pitch Panel Luncheon.

Complimentary box lunches will be provided.

Town Hall Forum on Biophotonics Commercialization

17:30 - 19:30

Please join us for an open town-hall meeting, where thought leaders debate and share perspectives that are critical to the rapidly expanding biophotonics market. Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

Questions to be discussed include:

  • Where is the funded research going?
  • What is the enabling technology that has the most market traction?
  • What are the bottlenecks or "showstoppers" in photonics commercialization today?
  • What are the solutions?
Scott ColeridgeVenture Investor, Morningside Technology Advisory, USA
Christopher H. ContagStandford University, USA
Richard B. Dorshow, PhDChief Scientific Officer, MediBeacon, Inc., USA
Eric SwansonEntrepreneur, USA
Edmund Talley, Program Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Industry Program Committee

Marco Arrigoni, Coherent, USA
Vadim Backman, Northwestern University, USA
Kate Bechtel, Triple Ring Technologies, USA
Husain (Hui) Inam, NKT Photonics, Inc., USA
Alain Villeneuve, Optav Solutions Inc., Canada

Presented by:

An Awards Committee consisting of Biomedical Optics Congress Chairs and Program Committee Members have been viewing poster presentations throughout the week.  Five Student Poster Presentation Award winners and 15 Student Poster Presentation Award Finalists have been selected to receive awards.  Winners will receive $500 each.  Award Finalists will receive $100 each.  Presentations were judged on technical content, display, and overall presentation.  Congratulations to the 2016 Biomedical Optics Student Poster Presentation Award Winners and Finalists listed below:


2016 Biomedical Optics Student Poster Presentation Award Winners

Sung Ji Ahn, Cornell University, USA
The Inflammatory Response Following a Laser-induced Cortical Microhemorrhage in a Rodent Model is Dominated by Brain-resident Microglia and Not Blood-borne Macrophages
Kirby Campbell, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Wavelength-dependent Second Harmonic Generation Circular Dichroism for Differentiation of Col I and Col III Isoforms in Stromal Models of Ovarian Cancer
Aeli Olson, Bethel University, USA
Super-resolution Snapshot Chemical Imaging with Plasmonic Nanoholes
Andrew Tsao, Columbia University, USA
Measuring the Thermodynamic Effects of Neurovascular Coupling in the Awake, Behaving Mouse Brain
Xinwen Yao, Columbia University, USA
Towards in vivo High-resolution OCT Based Ductal Imaging

2016 Biomedical Optics Student Poster Presentation Award Finalists

Heloise Auger, Université de Montréal, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, Canada
Contribution of Extra-cerebral and Cerebral Hemodynamic Signals During Exercise Quantified with Time-domain Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Irene Costantini, University of Florence, Italy
Combination of Two-photon Fluorescence Microscopy and Label-free Near-infrared Reflectance: A New Complementary Approach for Brain Imaging
Xiyu Duan, University of Michigan, USA
MEMS Based Side-Viewing Confocal Endomicroscope for Vertical/Horizontal Cross-Sectional Imaging
Clement Dupuy, Institut Langevin, University College London, UK
Acousto-optic Imaging and Reconstruction in Highly Scattering Media: Towards Quantitative Imaging
Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
In vivo Time Domain Broadband (600 -1200 nm) Diffuse Optical Characterization of Human Bone
Songhyun Lee, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), South Korea
Modulation of Inhalational Oxygen as a Translational Marker to Predict the Efficacy of Chemotherapy
Feixiao Long, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Dental Optical Tomography with UCNPs
Simon Mekhail, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
Fiber Bundle in-vivo Epifluorescence Microscopy with Image Reconstruction
Inema Orukari, Washington University in St Louis, USA
Alterations in Resting State Networks in a Mouse Model of Glioma Growth
Erman Oztekin, University of Florida, USA
Differential Laser-Induced Perturbation Spectroscopy Method for Biological Material Classification
Rajinder Singh-Moon, Columbia University, USA
Optical Spectroscopy Facilitated Characterization of Acute Atrial Lesions
Jianbo Tang, University of Florida, USA
Miniaturized Scanning Photoacoustic Imaging for Brain Study in Behaving Rats
Tianxiong Wang, Unversity of Virginia, USA
High-speed Functional Photoacoustic Microscopy of the Mouse Brain
Jingjiang Xu, University of Washington, USA
Spectral-domain Optical Coherence Tomography-based Angiography for Scalable Wide-field Vascular Imaging
Guy Yona, Technion -Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Realistic Modeling of Optogenetic Neuronal Excitation in Light-Scattering Brain Tissue