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Biophotonics-based strategies for improving Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and monitoring: two innovative approaches by the Van ‘t Hoff program

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Author: Amelink, A. · Westerlaken, A.C. · Boer, B.M. de
Publisher: PhotonicsNL
Place: Koudekerk aan den Rijn
Source:Photonics Magazine, Mei, 13-16
Identifier: 525876
Keywords: Electronics Health · High Tech Systems & Materials · Industrial Innovation · Nano Technology · OPT - Optics · TS - Technical Sciences


The Van ‘t Hoff program is a new collaborative research and innovation program, initiated by TNO, in the field of biomedical optics. The Van ‘t Hoff program aims to improve medical diagnosis and therapy through development of innovative medical devices based on photonics and biomedical technologies. Specifically, we develop biophotonics-based technologies to enable less invasive surgical procedures, better screening and monitoring of diseases in asymptomatic stages and better and/or personalized treatment for patients, leading to reduced healthcare costs and improved healthcare. In a previous paper [1] we reported about the structure of our program and our long term goals that are embedded in 4 application lines. Furthermore, we gave a practical example of technology developed within our program: a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) based ion-specific sensor for quantifying ion levels in haemodialysis. In this paper we introduce two different approaches for improved diagnosis and monitoring of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease In the first (minimally-invasive) approach, we develop a biosensor based on ultra-sensitive ring resonator technology to detect specific biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases in biofluids such as cerebrospinal fluid. In the second (non-invasive) approach we aim to use the eye as a “window to the brain”.