Biophotonics and nano biophotonics are at the intersection of light and biology at a nanometer scale. Through the light-matter interaction and because of high speed of light manipulation and the remote nature of optical methods, their applications have been found in imaging, detecting, and manipulating biological tissues in vivo and in vitro in molecular diagnostics and therapeutics partially due to the miniature footprint of the photonic devices. Since Nano biophotonics or in general nanophotonics is involved with diagnosing, therapy and therapy guidance, it has advanced in the following healthcare areas:
Diagnosing/sensing: nano biophotonics can diagnose/sense molecules, single cell and DNA, detect some specific nucleic acid sequences in biological samples, biosense antibody and antigen molecular, in vivo and in vitro diagnose cancer cells, in-site label immunoassays or immunocytology assays, detect/prob certain proteins, identify molecules of specific substances by measuring optical signatures and bio-marking cells etc.
Treatment & therapy: nano biophotonics can be used to selectively target and damage cancer cells by using plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT). For example, Rice university has pioneered in the treatment of prostate cancer without the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, invasive surgery and radiation. Now this therapy is in clinic trial and soon physicians can use this tool in daily procedures in a clinic environment without hospital stay. It consists lasers and nanoshells: silica and gold. There are many other types of nano particles such as nanoclusters, nanocages etc and other material compositions to improve the opto-thermal effect.
Bio-Imaging and monitoring: There are many different biophotonics and nano biophotonics imaging, monitoring and guiding methods, such as chiral imaging, fluorescent imaging, enhanced MRI, super-resolution imaging, quantitative phase imaging, therapy monitoring, guidance of treatment etc. In particular the Metalens can provide super resolution imaging in small distance such as micron scale in optical wavelength.
Biophotonics and nano biophotonics involves different fields of science and technology, such as material science, biology, chemistry, spectroscopy, nonlinear optics and lasers, nanophotonics, nano mechanics, and nano technology etc in addition to commonly used necessities. Nanophotonics-based biophotonic devices could be reliable, relatively inexpensive, and capable of delivering accurate diagnoses quickly, in vivo, in vitro,and in situ. All light signatures such as color, intensity/power, phase change, polarization change, (large) refractive index change as well as photonic-thermal effect can be utilized.
Lumerical’s capability of simulation can be used to design and simulate those nano/bio photonic devices and effects, which include but not limit to the following: