Biophotonics is the study of biological materials and its relations and associations with light and forms of radiant energy. It is mainly focused on applying new discoveries of lasers and light into useful sources. Understanding biophotonics will allow scientists to find different ways to create new medical tools. Two of the many applications that biophotonics allowed are found in medical imaging and in vitriol diagnostics.  Future developments and technologies can soon be found in many forms as biophotonics begins to grow worldwide. Experts can sense that it is "nothing short but extraordinary".


     A man named Alexander Gurwitsch had many curiosities within him. During 1923, Gurswitsch suggested a type of connection between photon emission and cell division rate, which was detected and discovered by his observations and discovery of an "ultra-weak" photon emission from things such as onions and yeast. This photo emission was then referred to as "mitogenetic radiation" in his terms. Through many years, Gurswitsch's discoveries was forgotten. However, in the year of 1950, Russian scientists came to a similar discovery of the "ultra-weak photon emission" from living organisms.

     The first theory of this ultra-weak photo emission from biological systems was called the "Imperfection Theory". This theory was developed by an American chemist and a Russian biophysicist. The ultra-weak photemission was an indication of a kind of distortion of metabolic processes.

     Many motivations had driven different areas of the world such as Germany, Japan, and  Poland to use their greatest abilities to provide evidence and proof of ultra-weak photo emission from biological systems. They each individually contributed an effort to support and provide evidence of such discovery by using the modern single-photon counting system. The Japan and Poland group was on the side of the Imperfection Theory. In contrast, the Germany group, which included Fritz-Albert Popp, opposed to the other groups and came up with the opposite theory. Their phenomenon was referred to "Biophotons", which is a single quanta that is transitted by living systems in a continuous and repeated cycle. Around the world, the scientists and experts that stand with this idea referred the radiation biophotons and systematic fields as "BIOPHOTONICS".


  • Biophotonics in Medicine: The need for biophotonices in medicine is necessary. It allows scientists to develop optical characterization of diseases, both healthy and diseased samples. It also allows an individual to have external and internal imaging and enables for improving diseases and treatments.
  • Biophotonics in Infectious Diseases: It allows scientists to view and detect diseases such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) transmission.
  • Biophotonics in Dectecting Cancer: Scientist are trying to use biophotonic technologies to develop systems that are capable to diagnose and treat cancer-related diseases. Using optical imaging and spectroscopy can bring scientists a step closer in healing individuals with cancer.
  • Other areas of applications of biophotonics includes : life science, agriculture, environmental science, and in microscopy.


The picture above shows a professor educating individuals about how biophotonics relates to the areas of medicine.  



 The Potential of Biophotonics:

Medical Biophotonics: The role of biophotonics in the development of medical diagnostic is crucial and important. New devices such as chemical and biological nano probes and fiber optic-based enzymatic sensors can be used for the detection of cancer types.

Cellular and Molecular  Biophotonics: Using the mechanisms of biophotonics creates an improvement of understanding biological substances. Biophotonic technologies allow for observing and analyzing molecular systems in depth and with many clarifications. The hope is to use the positive aspects of biophotonics to guide the way to find DNA interactions and cell membrane physiology.  This will allow scientists and doctors to clearly relate to genetic damage recognition and understand the development of atherosclerosis.

Bioimaging: Bioimaging technology allowed for the development of many different tools including X-rays, light microscopy, and even comuted tomography. This provides one to view and visualize life down to a cellular level and creates an opportunity for one to learn more about biological systems at a molecular and atomic way.

As seen from the image above, the University of Cinninati researchers are finding a way to take solar enegy and covert them to biofuels. Currenctly, the tests using semitropical frogs are guiding the way for others to be able to use the energy from the sun and carbon from the air to be changed into sugars. These sugars in return will be able to be transformed into new biofuels. According to Montemagno, "It is a signifcant step in delivering the promise of nanotechnology."






Alexander Gurwitsch, the man who discovered photon emissions around 1923. 


This image above is a photo of Fritz Albert Popp. Popp studied physics and applied his knowledge to experiments to find evidence for biophotons. 


Finding the Light in Biophotonics

Through the upcoming years, scientists hope to find the use and benefits of biophotonics in helping others from carrying or receiving diseases. Using bioimaging can lead to a better understanding of human biology. Bioimaging technology is one of the most powerful tools in biomedical research and allows scientists to view many aspects of the body.


Biophotonic Light Sources includes:

  • Lasers and gas lasers
  • Fiber Lasers
  • Ultra-fast Lasers
  • Lamps
  • Solid State Lasers
  • SLED"s
  • OPO's
  • ps Lasers
  • Diode Lasers
  • Ultrachrome Lasers
  • Argon Ion Lasers
  • Krypton Ion Lasers


This illustration above shows how scientists are trying to apply light therapy into the baby's blanket.


 This image above illustrates how the quantum superpositions states apply to organisms.


Scientists are finally grasping more information using microscopy.  This allowed scientists to detect deadly effects in antimicrobial peptides in live bacteria as seen above.

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