A team of researchers from the University of Surrey, have identified a new kind of light sensor that could soon pave the way for medical and security imaging byway of low cost cameras.
The team's research has gone on to be published in the journal Nature's Scientific Reports.
The researchers developed a novel 'multispectral' light senor that has the ability to identify the full spectrum of light, from ultra-violet (UV) rays, to visible, and near infrared light. In addition, near infrared light can be utilized to conduct non-invasive medical procedures and practices, such as measuring the oxygen level tissue and detecting tumors. Moreover, infrared light is also extensively used in security camera systems and for quality control in the agriculture and food industries.
Researchers believe that having a single low cost near infrared system, in accordance with standard imaging, opens up whole new doors of possibilities.
"Until now specialist light sensors have been limited in the kinds of light they can detect, with multiple sensors required to measure different ranges of the light spectrum, significantly increasing cost," said lead researcher from the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute, Dr. Richard Curry.
"This new technology could allow surgeons to 'see' inside tissue to find tumors 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," he added.
Moreover, the sensors themselves are quite flexible and be manufactured with little cost, utilizing the same laser-printers found in homes and offices. And unlike other sensors, do not need specific manufacturing conditions.