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Optical Biosensors for Medical Diagnostics 

8-10 November 2015
OSA Headquarters, Washington DC 

Hosted By:

Marcella Chiari, Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare (CNR), Italy
Brian Cunningham, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, United States
Aydogan Ozcan, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
M. Selim Ünlü, Boston University, United States

Read the blog posts on this meeting

Program Overview

Diagnostics and understanding of the etiology of the disease have been central to medical and biotechnology research for many years. Disease diagnostics have been evolving through the synergistic collaboration of medicine with engineering and science with photonics technology playing a central role. With the advent of the measurement/sensing technologies that provided the ability of detecting trace substances in bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid, in vitro tests have become a cornerstone of clinical practice. Despite dramatic technological advances over the last decade, recent emerging infectious diseases and epidemics have exposed the limitations of current technologies and once again emphasized the importance of continuing innovation and refinement.

In recent years, the ability to detect biomarkers in extremely low concentrations has led to advances in basic and clinical research and in their predictive role regarding diagnosis, prognosis and progression of diseases. Highly sensitive, specific, quantitative and multiplexed detection of biomarkers will be a pivotal focus of the technological evolution of future generation diagnostics. Among various transduction techniques for biosensing, optical detection has a singular place with tremendously rapid growth over the last decade.  This Incubator aims to bring together a broad group of leaders from academia, industry and government working on research and development of optical biosensors for applications in medical diagnostics.  

Featured Topics

Utilizing a combination of invited presentations and facilitated group discussions participants of this Incubator will address a wide range of novel, optical biosensing techniques, as well as the emerging applications of such techniques. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, novel materials and techniques for optical biosensing, point-of-care and lab-on-a-chip devices, surface functionalization methodologies, single-molecule detection, intracellular sensing, and applications in genomics, proteomics, medical diagnostics, drug delivery, health care, food analysis, environmental monitoring, defense, and security.  

The incubator addressed a broad range of topics organized around 4 specific questions explored in detail by panel discussions:

  1. Application of optical biosensors to Digital Diagnostics or single-molecule counting.
  2. Pros and cons of label-free vs. labeled optical biosensors.
  3. Future of optical biosensors for point-of-care applications.
  4. Challenges in commercialization of optical biosensors.




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