The BioPhotonics for healthcare achieved two major goals: provide high quality education for the next generation of photonics’ scientists and promote active collaboration among H2020 funded projects, researchers, clinicians and companies in the field of photonics. The workshop was very international counting with speakers and participants from Finland, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, Lithuania and UK.
The intensive course ’Infrared Spectroscopy for Bioapplications’ covered the fundamental aspects of infrared spectroscopy, microscopy and data analysis and as well how to apply this powerful tool to biosciences. Prof. Boris Mizaikoff (Ulm University) provided energetic lectures on fundamental aspects of infrared spectroscopy and waveguide-based sensing and their application in biosciences. A highlight point among the students were the hand on activities during the ’Multivariate data analysis of infrared data’ given by Prof. Achim Köhler and M.Sc. Johanne Solheim (Norwegian University of Life Science).
-The workshop helped me to understand the various infrared spectroscopy and their possible applications in bio-sciences and other fields. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to interact directly with the speakers in the evening, which leaded to fruitful discussions with significant impact in my current research work, says Muthusamy Saranya a PhD student in the University of Oulu.
The networking opening was held in Nallikari beach with the beautiful view of the frozen sea. Biophotonics is a very multidisciplinary field.
-First, we always need to understand the problem and its clinical relevance before finding a photonics-based solution. Then, we can collectively address the problem with close cooperation among physicists, engineers and clinicians, says Dr. Gabriela Lorite, coordinator of MIRACLE project.
The opening lecture given by the President-elect of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) Prof. Ali Mobasheri enlightened the audience about the unmet clinical needs regarding biomarkers, especially those that will help us get closer towards addressing the diagnosis challenges faced by the community.
-There are currently no sensitive tools that allow orthopaedic surgeons to make objective decisions about which ares of the joint cartilage to surgically remove during arthroscopic procedures. The MIRACLE consortium is developing novel photonic and spectroscopic tools that will allow a real-time assessment of joint tissue composition and quality, and it is abundantly clear that such tools do not exist in the clinical setting at the present time, says Prof. Ali Mobasheri.
The networking continued on 14th March at Tellus Stage, University of Oulu. The first session brought together H2020 funded projects to explore the synergy between osteoarthritis and photonics technologies. In a paralell meeting, the project coordinators and invited researchers discussed new ideas for upcoming proposals based on the current projects outcomes. During the networking day, a whole session was dedicated to the clinicians who shared their perspective on unmet clinical needs in the edge of photonics.
-Medicine is an infinite source of diagnostic and therapeutic problems. Photonics derives key techniques for various solutions and the BioPhotonics for Healthcare workshop promoted the undervalued prospects of its clinical applications. Value of life and wellbeing is higher than anything, so I expect more and more unobtrusive methods developed in collaboration with photonics and clinical experts in the EU, says M.D. Antti-Pekka Elomaa, Kuopio University Hospital.
At the end of the event, the participants were asked to provide three words that summarize the BioPhotonics for Healthcare workshop to form a word cloud. ’Inspiring, networking, internationality, biophotonics” are some of the keywords of what MIRACLE project expected to have as outcome of such workshop.
Companies in the field of photonics were also invited to take part in the event as speakers and exibithors.
-This workshop is relevant for photonic companies because healthcare is one of the most growing photonic markets. Only by understanding the actual need of this market photonic companies can adapt and plan further investments, says Konstantinas Zakalskis, Ekspla Ltd.
After a fruitful interaction during a one hour networking coffee break, the event was finalized with a roundtable to discuss the future of Photonics towards bioscience and medicine. Prof. Jyrki Saarinen (NextPho21 H2020 project, Finland), Dr. Francesca Rossi, Nello Carraca Institute of Applied Physics (Italy) and CEO Johannes Koeth (nanoplus,, Germany) were the three experts participating in the roundtable moderated by Juha Purmonen (Photonics Finland). The panelists emphasized the importance of funding to promote fundamental research that will lead to novel solutions from photonics components to medical devices.
The BioPhotonics for Healthcare workshop organized by MIRACLE project took place on 13thand 14thof March at the Tellus Stage, University of Oulu, Finland. The event received 75 registrations including students, researchers, clinicians and companies.
Text&photos: Gabriela S. Lorite
Last updated: 21.3.2019