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: Revealing faded frescos

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

Revealing faded frescos

15 hours ago

Many details of the wall and ceiling frescos in the cloister of Brandenburg Cathedral have faded: Plaster on which horses once "galloped" appears more or less bare. A hyperspectral camera sees images that remain hidden to ...

Device could detect driver drowsiness, make roads safer

16 hours ago

Drowsy driving injures and kills thousands of people in the United States each year. A device being developed by Vigo Technologies Inc., in collaboration with Wichita State University professor Jibo He and ...

New capability takes sensor fabrication to a new level

Jun 30, 2015

Operators must continually monitor conditions in power plants to assure they are operating safely and efficiently. Researchers on the Sensors and Controls Team at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory ...

Smart phones spot tired drivers

Jun 30, 2015

An electronic accelerometer of the kind found in most smart phones that let the device determine its orientation and respond to movement, could also be used to save lives on our roads, according to research ...

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.