New sensor could light the way forward in low-cost medical imaging

May 23, 2014

New research published today in Nature's Scientific Reports, identifies a new type of light sensor that could allow medical and security imaging, via low cost cameras.

The team of researchers from the University of Surrey have developed a new 'multispectral' sensor that detects the full spectrum of light, from ultra-violet (UV), to visible and near infrared light.

Indeed, near can be used to perform non-invasive medical procedures, such as measuring the oxygen level in tissue and detecting tumours. It is also already commonly used in security camera systems and for quality control in the agriculture and food industry.

Researchers believe that having a single low cost near infrared system, in addition to conventional imaging, opens up many new possibilities.

"Until now specialist have been limited in the kinds of light they can detect, with multiple required to measure different ranges of the light spectrum, significantly increasing cost," said lead researcher Dr Richard Curry from the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute.

"This new technology could allow surgeons to 'see' inside tissue to find tumours prior to surgery as well as equip consumer products, such as cameras and mobile phones, with night imaging options. This is useful for capturing quality pictures in the dark, and may eventually enable parents to simply monitor a child's blood or tissue oxygenation level via a smartphone camera which could be linked to healthcare professionals."

The sensors are highly flexible and can be produced cheaply, using the same laser-printers found in homes and offices, and unlike other sensors, do not require specialised manufacturing conditions.

Explore further: Organic photodiodes for sensor applications

Related Stories

Organic photodiodes for sensor applications

May 14, 2014

Powerful, inexpensive and even flexible when they need to be, organic photodiodes are a promising alternative to silicon-based photodetectors. They are used to improve light sensitivity in cameras and to ...

Skinny lens makes cheap surveillance camera for home use

May 21, 2014

Dark alleys might not feel so dangerous someday thanks to a new ultra-thin type of lens, which could pave the way to making smaller and cheaper heat-sensing imagers. A team of French researchers has found ...

Recommended for you

Intellectual property in 3D printing

Apr 16, 2015

The implications of intellectual property in 3D printing have been outlined in two documents created for the UK government by Bournemouth University's Dinusha Mendis and Davide Secchi, and Phil Reeves of Econolyst Ltd.

World-record electric motor for aircraft

Apr 16, 2015

Siemens researchers have developed a new type of electric motor that, with a weight of just 50 kilograms, delivers a continuous output of about 260 kilowatts – five times more than comparable drive systems. ...

Space open for business, says Electron launch system CEO

Apr 15, 2015

Space, like business, is all about time and money, said Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, a US company with a New Zealand subsidiary. The problem, he added, is that, in cost and time, space has remained an incredibly ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.