The Biomedical Photonic Imaging (BMPI) research group studies the interaction between light and biological material. It uses the insights gained in a search for non-invasive diagnostic methods. These technologies reduce the burden on a patient compared to current methods, and could even be quicker and more accurate.
BMPI developed the TOPCam, a high-speed camera that allows the perfusion of burn wounds to be determined in a few seconds. When laser light falls on blood cells in tissues, it is scattered. This leads to brightness differences, showing the red blood cells as spots in the resultant image. The camera can take 25,000 photos a second, thus permitting the movement of the red blood cells to be recorded.
With photo-acoustic technique, BMPI makes it possible to rapidly detect the presence and nature of breast tumours. When a light pulse falls on a body tissue, the blood in the blood vessels there will absorb energy from the light, leading to – very local – heating of the blood. As a result, the pressure in the blood vessel will change and this can be observed in the form of an acoustic signal on the surface of the skin. The researchers at BMPI can use this effect to determine the depth of the blood vessels, for example in a tumour or a nevus in the skin.
For more information about Biomedical Photonic Imaging, visit the homepage of this research group.