A new study details how a new tumor-targeting camera works to view cancer in animal and human patients, a camera that is based on nature’s own design .
In this case, they have been based on the eyes of the mantis shrimp, one of the most sophisticated eyes in nature.
Humans perceive three colors (red, green, and blue) due to a single layer of light-sensitive cone cells lining our retina, but mantis shrimp perceive more than 12 colors. In this way, the mantis shrimp can see things that humans cannot imagine , and it does so in a fraction of the space.
Hoping to replicate this visual system in a single imaging device, the team integrated advanced semiconductor devices and specialized optical filters. Its technology can capture all three colors of visible light that a physician would normally see, as well as three colors of invisible near-infrared light that a physician would not see. It can then be combined with multiple tumor-targeting probes that accumulate in cancerous tissue and emit near-infrared light, allowing the doctor to see exactly where tumors are in a patient .
The next step for the team is the integration of its camera with endoscopic systems to meet the demands of minimally invasive surgery in hospitals with limited resources.