With its importance in health, medicine and our understanding of how the human body works, biophotonics is recently emerging as an important interdisciplinary field, taking advantage of recent developments in optics and photonics research. In addition to microscopic imaging, methods for shaping light has allowed far more interactive applications such as delivering tailored and localized optical landscapes for stimulating, photo-activating or performing micro-surgery on cells or tissues. In addition to applications possible with light’s interaction on biological samples, lights ability to manipulate matter, i.e. optical trapping, brings in a wider tool set in microbiological experiments. Fabricated microscopic tools, such as those constructed using two photon polymerization and other recent nano and microfabrication processes, in turn, allows more complex interactions at the cellular level. It is therefore important to study efficient beam shaping methods, their use in optical trapping and manipulation, and the design of “microtools” for specific microbiological applications. Such studies are performed in our BioPhotonics Workstation (BWS). Hence the further development of the BWS is also crucial in supporting these biological studies. We study use of a novel and robust beam shaping technique, i.e. the matched filtering Generalized Phase Contrast method, and other ways of improving the trapping stability in the BWS, such as using machine vision based feedback. We also present our work on microtools that can deliver highly focused light into cells, i.e. wave-guided optical waveguides. Such microtool can be used for triggering local nonlinear processes, performing microscopic laser based surgery. It can also work in reverse for sensing applications. Towards the end, we also present other improvements and applications of the BWS such as using Generalized Phase Contrast to increase its efficiency, imaging cells while external stressors, such as heat are introduced, and adapting the BWS to replace existing bulky and expensive cell sorting systems.
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Palima, Darwin, Jepsen, Peter Uhd, Glückstad, Jesper