Optical imaging, rice university

Wearable Microscopes Could Eliminate Biopsies and Blood Tests

By MedTech Intelligence Staff
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Optical imaging, rice university

A $10 million award from the National Science Foundation could help Rice University make this concept a reality.

Rice University has received an award from the National Science Foundation that will help researchers develop a platform technology for non-invasive diagnostic testing. The team, comprised of co-investigators from Rice University, Harvard, MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Cornell University, will use the $10 million to create wearable and point-of-care microscopes for in-vivo, 3-D tissue imaging below the skin’s surface.

“Imagine a wearable device no larger than a watch that uses sensors to continuously measure white blood cell count and wirelessly communicate with the oncologist’s office,” said Ashutosh Sabharwal, principal investigator and professor at Rice University, in a university press release. “The patient could go about their daily life. They’d only have to go to the hospital if there was a problem.”

Optical imaging, rice university
Rice University graduate students (from left) Mayank Kumar, Amruta Pai and Akash Maity performing tests of optical imaging techniques for non-contact, remote monitoring of vital signs and tissue perfusion. (Photo by Vivek Boominathan/Rice University)

The technology will use computational scatterography, a combination of mathematical algorithms, camera design and imaging sensors that will allow them to reverse engineer the scattered light path. “If we succeed, this isn’t just one product,” said Sabharwal. “It’s a platform technology that will be able spinoff into many products that can be used in the care of nearly 100 health conditions.”

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