New camera sees through skin
Scientists in Scotland have developed a new type of camera that can see through body tissue and can be used to track medical tools called endoscopes. These are long, thin tubes that have a light and a camera attached to the end. They are inserted into the body, and doctors use them to examine, say, a patient’s stomach.
The trouble is that light from the endoscope bounces off the patient’s organs and tissue, which means that the images it produces as it travels through the body are blurry. As a result it can be hard to tell exactly where the device is or to get it where it needs to be. To solve this problem, doctors currently use expensive scans, such as X-rays, to trace the tool’s progress.
It’s hoped that the new camera will do the same job as an X-ray. It is so sensitive that it can detect the light on the endoscope, even through a thick layer of body tissue. This means that doctors can see exactly where the device is. The camera has been designed for use at a patient’s bedside. “This is an enabling technology that allows us to see through the human body,” said senior researcher, Kev Dhaliwel.