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Optical Equipment Imaging Systems.

Disease Studied Without Dissection

Drug screening and development rely on quality data from animal models. The IVIS In Vivo Imaging System provides that data in a faster, more humane way, while reducing the number of animals needed for a study. The system helps scientists monitor the progression of a disease or an infection in an animal model. In vivo optical imaging detects photons emitted internally from living animals and creates a luminescent image which is overlaid on a "photographic" image.

The imaging system was designed to implement a variety of sensitivity enhancements over existing techniques, and was developed to detect red and near-infrared wavelengths above 600 nm, which is extremely important due to greatly reduced tissue absorption. This allows researchers to study light emission from organs 1- to 3-cm deep, which was not previously possible.

Several conveniences were implemented, such as the user-friendly LivingImage software analysis package. This allows routine use by non-specialists, particularly biology technicians, thus enabling a larger group to utilize these techniques. A heated sample shelf is also included to maintain the body temperature in anesthetized animals during the imaging exposure.

This technique, from developers at Xenogen Corp., Alameda, Calif., provides a new, general-purpose research tool for tracking a variety of biological processes, such as cancer or gene expression in transgenic animals. The IVIS system can be used for general purpose imaging of low-light emission or as a tool for detecting luminescent or fluorescent compounds from an array of samples in a well plate. Write In 2013

Laser Tuned by MEMS Device

As the next-generation of fiber-optic telecommunication systems emerges, it brings with it new technology like the MEMS-Based, Digitally Tunable Diode Laser (DTDL), which enables dense wavelength division-multiplexing (DWDM). Based on a digital micromirror device, the DTDL offers fast selection over a definable set of wavelengths, and is capable of simultaneous emission of a multi-line spectrum. Switching time is less than 1 [micro]sec for optical and 15 [micro]sec for limited electronics, which is at least 10,000 times faster than tuning the speed of state-of-the-art conventional external cavity digitally tunable lasers with mechanical tuning.

Developed by Mikhail Gutin at InterScience Inc., Troy, N.Y., the laser is capable of emitting sets of multi-line near-infrared spectra, which can be used for passive components of DWDM networks. The DTDL can be used as a source of preprogrammed spectral sequences or multiple-wavelength spectra for testing and tuning of WDM. Laser spectroscopy is another application for the laser. Write In 2014

Mirrors Focus X-Rays

X-ray microbeams have long been recognized as having the capacity to provide unparalleled nondestructive measurements of chemical and compositional crystallography. Tapping into this capability are the Differentially Deposited X-Ray Microfocus Mirrors, which efficiently focus monochromatic and broad-bandpass x-rays to a submicron spot. These mirrors do not require bending mechanisms, making them more compact and simpler to use. To increase focus performance and simplify alignment, the mirrors use a monolithic approach with only four degrees of freedom--two for each mirror.

An advanced differential coating technology is used to modify the surface profile of ultra-smooth x-ray optics and provide high-performance mirrors an order of magnitude better than mirrors currently available. For more consistent performance the mirror figure cannot change with time or use. A group of researchers led by Gene Ice at the DOE's Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratory and Andrew Lunt at Beamline Technology Corp., Tucson, Ariz., developed the mirrors which minimizes the costs of providing a vacuum or helium enclosure for protection. Write In 2015

Plastic Optical Fibers Made Practical

Most optical fibers are made of silica (Si[O.sub.2]), which has excellent optical properties but is difficult to use. Plastic optical fibers, on the other hand, can be cut with a hot knife and the alignment tolerances are much less stringent. The Resonant Cavity Light Emitting Diode (RCLED) uses these low-cost, flexible plastic optical fibers in its communication systems. Researchers at Boston Univ. and Mitel Corp., Kanata, Ontario, employed a resonant cavity design because it has a higher light output per unit area. This results in a higher fiber coupling efficiency and allows for higher bit rates as well as longer transmission distances. RCLED emits light at 650 nm, the wavelength where plastic optical fibers have a local loss minimum. As data rates increase, optical fibers may begin to replace many copper cables and data buses as a lightweight alternative.

The advantages of RCLEDs over conventional LEDs include higher emission intensity emitted to the semiconductor surface, higher spectral purity, and an emission pattern directed toward the surface normal to the semiconductor. Write In 2016
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Title Annotation:award-winning innovations
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2000
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