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New way to catch cancer's spread, rapid 3-D retinal imaging, more at CLEO/QELS 2007

WASHINGTON, April 12 -- Researchers from around the world will present new breakthroughs in optics, photonics and their applications at the 2007 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS) from May 6-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md. The meeting is co-sponsored by the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society Division of Laser Science (APS-DLS) and the IEEE Lasers & Electro-Optics Society (IEEE/LEOS).

NOTEWORTHY MEETING PAPERS

At CLEO/QELS, researchers gather to present many of the latest breakthroughs on the science and engineering of photons and light waves. The following represent some of the many technical highlights at the meeting.

CATCHING CANCER'S SPREAD BY WATCHING HEMOGLOBIN

In an advance that can potentially assist cancer diagnosis, a new optical technique provides high-resolution, three-dimensional images of blood vessels by taking advantage of the natural light-absorbing properties of hemoglobin, the red-blood-cell molecule that carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream.

Developed at Duke University, the new laser-based method should provide 3-D images of blood vessels in relatively deep tissue (up to 1 mm) with a resolution at the micron scale (at the level of blood cells, which is better than MRI resolution). Since hemoglobin is highly concentrated in red blood cells, imaging the locations where this molecule occurs can map out the distribution of red blood cells and reveal the vessels themselves.

Clinically, the imaging technique can potentially be used to detect the spread of cancer, since angiogenesisthe growth of new blood vessels from existing onesoften signals the proliferation of tumors. This may make the technique convenient and powerful for helping to diagnose diseases such as melanoma. Since the technique can image blood vessels up to a millimeter below the surface, looking at vessels
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Contact: Colleen Morrison
cmorri@osa.org
202-416-1437
Optical Society of America
12-Apr-2007


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