Bridging the Valley of Death in Biotech

Stephen Boppart | Via SPIE | January 1, 2019

Stephen Boppart, director of the Center for Optical Molecular Imaging and head of the Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), is fully committed to moving biophotonics technology from the bench to the bedside, and beyond. He encourages research faculty to drive the translation of their work into the commercial sphere—something he knows a lot about, having founded four biophotonic startup companies.

In 1998, while he was a grad student at MIT, Boppart was part of a team that co-founded LightLab Imaging, which pioneered commercialization of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for catheter-based medical imaging applications. His next company, Diagnostic Photonics, uses OCT during breast cancer surgery to assess tumor margins in real time. The third company, PhotoniCare, winner of the 2018 SPIE Startup Challenge, uses OCT to detect ear infections in children by providing real-time visualization of the middle ear. LiveBx, Boppart’s fourth and latest startup, stands for “living biopsy,” and focuses on nonlinear label-free imaging technology for tissue samples that are kept alive for a few hours after biopsy… Continue reading.