Mantis Shrimp-Motivated Camera Facilitates Sight Into Concealed World
Stomatopods, or Mantis shrimp, are amazing marine crustaceans. They are energetic little creatures that are not frightened to beat out their record-breaking blow that can attack at an analogous acceleration to a bullet departing the gun’s muzzle. They are also gifted with an unbelievably complex visual system that enables them to sense UV, polarized, and visible light. And it is these outstanding eyes that are at present serving as motivation for the outline of a new trend of medical imagers that the research team at the University of Queensland (UQ) hopes can someday be utilized to picture brain activity and identify tumors.
As stated, polarized light can be detected by the mantis shrimp with their compound eyes. The waves of polarized light are light waves wherein vibrations take place in the same plane. It is recognized that cancerous tissue redirects polarized light distinctly compared to healthy tissue, so several existing imaging systems utilize this to identify tumors. Nevertheless, UQ researchers intend to enhance the current technology by imitating features of the eyes of mantis shrimp.
In a news release, Justin Marshall (Study Author) said, “The camera that we’ve developed in close collaboration with the US and the UK scientists shoots video and could provide immediate feedback on detecting cancer and monitoring the activity of exposed nerve cells. It converts the invisible messages into colors that our visual system is comfortable with.”
Precise sensors are helpful in oncology as they decrease the demand for more invasive processes such as biopsies and also can be utilized to direct surgery. Moreover, some extensively utilized imaging methods, such as color endoscopy, can identify only particular sorts of cancer, implying there is much room for enhancement. In the newest study, the UQ research team put a polarization/fluorescence endoscope to validate in mice with colorectal cancer and discovered that the tool could fruitfully spot tumors.
According to Marshall, this study can even assist as a foundation for the revamping of smartphone cameras that can turn, for instance, an iPhone into a private health monitoring tool. Few cancer patients can then utilize their phone to keep track of their tumors, decreasing the load on healthcare systems.
Polarization sensors also have the prospective to improve the neuroscience field as they enable the scientists to capture neuronal activity without the requirement of fluorescent dyes that are mostly toxic and also blench over time, restricting their helpfulness. In the existing study, the team validated their new class of polarization imaging sensors on neurons population and discovered that they were capable of concurrently recording neuronal activity in vivo.