June 2013

FEATURE

Under pressure

In 2014 a prototype skull-cutting laser system could be evaluated for medical trials.

Under development by German research institutes, the laser system would be used to release pressure on the brains of stroke victims. When a major stroke occurs, it may cause the brain to swell. The pressure in the cranial cavity increases, blood-flow to the brain diminishes and the brain can suffer further damage.

FEATURE

Home improvements

The drive for solid-state lighting comes down to energy-efficiency – LEDs use approximately 75 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer. According to the US Department of Energy, widespread use of LED lighting could save around 348TWh of electricity by 2027 – a saving of $30 billion at current prices.

FEATURE

Fine tuning for exploration

The oil and gas industry has a hardy image, of ambitious men working in tough environments using rugged equipment to extract the hydrocarbons that fuel the world’s economy. Photonic instruments are not known for having a hardy image or rugged design that can cope with jolts and bumps, but the technology is getting there.

‘It is extremely rugged and one of the big application areas they have targeted is gas sensing,’ says Steve Knight, Laserlines’ photonics sales director. He is referring to a new product from Sweden’s Cobolt, whose laser products Knight’s company distributes.

FEATURE

Photonics drives innovation

In its fortieth year, Munich, once again, hosted Laser World of Photonics, a huge event that has promoted the photonics market since 1973.

Over the course of its four days, from the 13-16 May, Munich was the industry’s marketplace, think tank, knowledge forum, solution provider, and network for engineers and managers.

‘Photonics has changed from a niche existence to a worldwide, accepted key enabling technology, which is a driver for innovation and plays a decisive role for many end users,’ Thilo Brodtmann, from the German Engineering Federation VDMA told delegates.

FEATURE

Biophotonics in rude health

To understand the impact of the latest developments in fibre delivery and turnkey multi-laser combiners, it is useful to briefly recap the history of lasers in instrumentation used in life sciences.  Lasers are widely used in these applications, primarily to excite emissions from fluorescent antibodies, labels, recombinant fluorescent proteins, concentration indicators and other fluorophores.