Fluorescence – a healthy glow!

Research output: Contribution to conferenceKeynote


Fluorescence is the phenomenon whereby absorption of light is followed by the emission of light on a time-scale of typically nanoseconds. It is ubiquitous, as every element, molecule or material can exhibit fluorescence under the right conditions. Most importantly, the distances and timescales associated with fluorescence can reflect changes in human physiology. Although not a new phenomenon, in recent years fluorescence has become one of the leading analytical techniques for research into improved healthcare, as it can provide deep understanding into biomolecular interactions down to the single molecule level.1 Sequencing the human genome and biomarkers for disease diagnostics are but two recent examples of the impact of fluorescence on healthcare. In this general-interest presentation I will provide an overview of some of the multidisciplinary research into biomolecular fluorescence that might underpin improved healthcare in the future. This includes diabetes2, melanoma3 and Alzheimer’s.4 In-passing I will highlight some of the commercial opportunities these present.

1. Fluorescence
D J S Birch, Y Chen and O J Rolinski
“Biological and Medical Photonics, Spectroscopy and Microscopy.” Ed D Andrews. Vol 4“Photonics.” Wiley. Ch.1. 1-58, 2015.

2. Fluorescence intensity and lifetime-based glucose sensing using glucose/galactose-binding protein
J C Pickup, F Khan, Z-L Zhi, J Coulter, D J S Birch. J. Diabetes Sci. and Technol., 7(1), 62–71, 2013.

3. Metal ion influence on eumelanin fluorescence and structure
J-U Sutter and D J S Birch. Methods Appl. Fluoresc. 2, 024005, 2014.

4. Beta-Amyloid oligomerisation monitored by intrinsic fluorescence
M Amaro, D J S Birch and O J.Rolinski. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13, 6434-41, 2011.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2015
EventEmerging Analytical Professionals 2015: Lighting the Way - Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 May 201510 May 2015


ConferenceEmerging Analytical Professionals 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • fluorescence
  • healthcare


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