Doctors rely on X-rays to examine what is going on inside patients’ bodies, but tracking instruments like endoscope when inside body was not quite possible; that might change soon as scientists have discovered a new medical camera which can see through human body.
Endoscopy is one of the widely used tools to examine the internals of human body from the inside, but tracking the device itself was not possible till now, unless one relied on expensive methods like X-ray scans. To solve this medical issue, researchers of a Scottish University, with Proteus Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration have developed a camera which is capable of tracking down light sources inside of human body. So, the camera can efficiently detect sources of light like the illuminated tip of endoscope’s long flexible tube and let the medics know about where the device is.
The light from endoscope could pass through body and become visible but it generally scatters or bounces off the tissues and organs, which makes it even more tough to get the clear picture of where the device is. But, the newly developed camera is equipped with thousands of single photon detectors which are embedded on a silicon chip, which makes it capable of detecting even the tiniest of trace of light passing through our body. The light is impossible to see with naked eyes, but nothing can pass by under the watch of this new camera.
Not just that, the camera can also record the time taken by light to pass through the skin cells, tissues and organs; so by calculating both – time taken by scattered light and that by straight camera, the device can deliver very-exact location of endoscope. As per early derivations, this sensitive prototype device is capable of locating the exact point of light source through 20 cm of body tissues under normal light conditions! That’s longer than those ruler-scales we use to use in school days! The ability to know where exactly a device is – inside the body will revolutionize treatment of various crucial internal organs like lungs and heart. This project is the part of the researchers’ study on diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases; and the team includes one Indian-origin researcher named – Kev Dhaliwal of University of Edinburgh and his acquaintances. The new camera is still under research, but it will soon change the way we use endoscopes.