Deep learning, living, random, optical, and – maybe – useful

In a recent paper, we demonstrated an optical deep neural network with a real living piece of brain tumor (a 3D “tumour model”). We think this is the first example of a hybrid living/photonic hardware: a sort of artificially intelligent device performing optical functions and detecting tumour morphodynamics (including the effect of chemotherapy)

Deep optical neural network by living tumour brain cells

Abstract: The new era of artificial intelligence demands large-scale ultrafast hardware for machine learning. Optical artificial neural networks process classical and quantum information at the speed of light, 
and are compatible with silicon technology, but lack scalability and need expensive manufacturing of many computational layers. New paradigms, as reservoir computing and the extreme learning machine, suggest that disordered and biological materials may realize artificial neural networks with thousands of computational nodes trained only at the input and at the readout. Here we employ biological complex systems, i.e., living three-dimensional tumour brain models, and demonstrate a random neural network (RNN) trained to detect tumour morphodynamics via
image transmission. The RNN, with the tumour spheroid 19 as a three-dimensional deep computational reservoir, performs programmed optical functions and detects cancer morphodynamics from laser-induced hyperthermia inaccessible by optical imaging. Moreover, the RNN quantifies the effect of chemotherapy inhibiting tumour growth. We realize a non-invasive smart probe for cytotoxicity assay, which is at least one order of magnitude more sensitive with respect to conventional imaging. Our random and hybrid photonic/living system is a novel artificial machine for computing and for the real-time investigation of tumour dynamics.

Authors: D. Pierangeli, V. Palmieri, G. Marcucci, C. Moriconi, G. Perini, M. De Spirito, M. Papi, C. Conti

Spin-orbit algebra with graphene

Laser & photonic reviews published the paper by Ciattoni et al. on the spin orbit coupling in graphene (arXiv version). The coupling of 2D electrons with OAM and Spin allows to control the state of nano-scale light beams, and is potentially useful for multilevel quantum gates.

2019-DisoMAT inaugural conference launched !

Call for abstract : Deadline 31 January

The study and exploitation of disorder is a vital research area in the broader field of material science. Structural and compositional randomness is ubiquitous in nature, and is often key tool for specific purposes, as mimicry or colouring. The benefits of disorder are a useful guide in engineering, and in visionary developments of novel advanced materials with unexpected and surprising properties. The general subject of disorder is rapidly emerging into an area of interdisciplinary scientific interest, which is, however, still in its infancy.

To accommodate these developments, the purpose of the inaugural
Disordered Materials 2019 (DisoMAT) conference is to bring together
experts from various scientific communities, e.g. the natural science
disciplines biology and physics, and material scientists and engineers to
advance the field of disorder in material science by combining fundamental
and applied research with emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches
and processing routes. Contributions from the fields of theoretical,
computational, and applied physics, theoretical and experimental biology,
and optics and photonics are envisioned to be combined. The development
of novel approaches and design routes to realize tailored disorder in
materials will be one of the main topics of this conference.

The inaugural Disordered Materials 2019 conference will have a special
focus on disordered materials in optics and photonics. It is by now accepted
that optical media do not necessarily have to be regular. Quite in contrast,
photonic materials with a deliberately introduced disorder in their respective geometries and compositions show interesting novel and tuneable unforeseen properties. These aspects shall be showcased at the conference.
International experts will give keynote/invited lectures about applications
in nano-optics and -photonics, in biology, and materials science. Thus,
the three-day conference comes up as a discussion panel for researchers,
manufacturers, and users of materials with interesting novel and tunable
properties. During the conference, the best three posters will be honored.

The Disordered Materials 2019 conference will be held from 24 to 26. September 2019 in Potsdam, the city of palaces and gardens, Germany.
We cordially invite you to join the Disordered Materials 2019 conference,
to share your experience in disordered materials with your fellow colleagues and to enjoy the very beautiful and special atmosphere during our conference.
DisoMAT 2019 website

Nonlinear transmission matrix of random optical media

Random media with tailored optical properties are attracting burgeoning interest for applications in imaging, biophysics, energy, nanomedicine, spectroscopy, cryptography and telecommunications.
A key paradigm for devices based on this class of materials is the transmission matrix, the tensorial link between the input and the output signals, that describes in full their optical behavior. The transmission matrix has specific statistical properties, as the existence of lossless channels, that can be used to transmit information, and are determined by the disorder distribution. In nonlinear materials, these channels may be modulated and the transmission matrix tuned accordingly. Here we
report the direct measurement of the nonlinear transmission matrix of complex materials, exploiting the strong optothermal nonlinearity of scattering Silica Aerogel (SA). We show that the dephasing effects due to nonlinearity are both controllable and reversible, opening the road to applications based on the nonlinear response of random media.

A. Fleming, C. Conti, A. Di Falco, arXiv:1809.07077