The term biophotonics denotes a combination of biology and photonics, with photonics being the science and technology of generation, manipulation, and detection of photons, quantum units of light. Photonics is related to electronics in that it is believed that photons will play a similar central role in future information technology as electrons do today.
Biophotonics has therefore become the established general term for all techniques that deal with the interaction between biological items and photons. This refers to emission, detection, absorption, reflection, modification, and creation of radiation from biomolecular, cells, tissues, organisms and biomaterials. Areas of application are life science, medicine, agriculture, and environmental science.
In microscopy, the development and refinement of the confocal microscope, the fluorescence microscope, and the total internal reflection fluorescence microscope all belong to the field of biophotonics.
For a controversial minority view of Biophotonics see: Biophoton
- Biophotonics Laboratory at California Institute of Technology
- NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at UC Davis
- Centre for Biophotonics at University of Strathclyde, UK
- The Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics University at Buffalo
- BIOP - Technical University of Denmark
- International Institute of Biophysics, Neuss, Germany
- Biophotonics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
- The University of St Andrews Biophotonics Collaboration, Scotland
- McMaster University Biophotonics Facility, Canada