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New perspectives for optical techniques in diagnostic and treatment of hepatic diseases

Acta Cirurgica Brasileira
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Artigo 16.pmd 214 - Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira - Vol. 25 (2) 2010 16 - POINT OF VIEW New perspectives for optical techniques in diagnostic and treatment of hepatic diseases1,2 Novas perspectivas para técnicas ópticas no diagnóstico e tratamento de doenças hepáticas Vanderlei Salvador BagnatoI, Cristina KurachiII, Orlando de Castro-e-SilvaIII I Full Professor and Head of the Optics and Photonics Center, Institute of Physics Institute of São Carlos of University of São Paulo, Brazil. II PhD, Professor of Institute of Physics of University of São Paulo, Brazil. III Full Professor and Head of the Division of Digestive Surgery, Department of Surgery and Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Introduction Human history is filled with great examples where light has played an important role in medicine. This idea has been considered more seriously in recent years, originating a new field that combines health science, physics and engineering. This connection is presently defined as biophotonics. The recent burst of activity experienced by this field is a result of a series of developments achieved in the last few years. The first important milestone in the development of biophotonics was transformation of light sources, like lasers and LEDs, in accessible tools for research and applications. Lasers, in special, are now broadly used as excitation light sources for disease diagnostics and as optical scalpels in interventional surgery. Another important aspect of the recent valuable progress is the advance of photochemistry applied to molecules of biological interest. Today, biophotonics can bring new technologies to define a bright future to biomedical research and clinical applications. This important advance comes in a good time, since the present growing and seniority of our modern society is demanding the development of new possibilities, that within the economical reality, make treatment, diagnostics and prevention techniques available to e

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