Biophotonics is an emerging interdisciplinary research area that encompasses light-based technologies (photons) and biology. It essentially uses a photonic technique to detect and/or control a biological phenomenon or event. The biological levels can range from cells, organisms, animals and humans, ecosystems and biospheres – thus encompassing a wide range of applications. It is a scientific discipline of remarkable societal importance which came into existence after the invention of the light compound microscope. Biophotonics has evolved and its application in biotechnology has been instrumental in life sciences. It is against this background that our BioPhotonics initiative endeavours to pursue biophotonic innovation in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Shannon ABC and the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) entered into a partnership to exploit the application of photonics in life sciences. Shannon ABC and CAPPA are two well-established research centres and Technology Gateways with distinct areas of expertise centres in MTU. Shannon ABC focusses on life sciences/bioresources while CAPPA focusses on photonics. The development of biophotonics as an expertise domain will have a broad-ranging impact on life science using photonics to solve life sciences and bioresource challenges of regional, global and societal benefit. Photonics has many broad areas of application in food, cosmetics, veterinary, healthcare, biopharma, and biotechnology, BioPhotonics has life science focus in agriculture and environment, biopharmaceutical, bioeconomy, biotechnology, cosmetics, food and drink, animal and human health, marine, and pharmaceutical.
BioPhotonics@MTU incorporates photonic specialisms in spectroscopy (e.g. UV/Vis/NIR, Fluorescence, Infrared, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), Raman, Hyperspectral Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy, Quantum cascade laser), imaging and microscopy (e.g. SEM, Polarized Light Microscopy) sensing and detection (e.g. Deep UV laser-induced fluorescence-based sensors, colourimetry, fluorometry, luminometry, on fibre optic-based or surface Plasmon resonance platforms) and data analytics (e.g. Multivariate analytical methods; principal component analysis (PCA), multivariate curve resolution (MCR), partial least squares regression (PLS), soft independent modelling of class analogy’ (SIMCA), process analytical techniques (PAT).