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G&H Completes Project For Early Cancer Detection

Feb/Mar 2018
Gooch & Housego Ltd. has completed the MINERVA (mid- to near-infrared spectroscopy for improved medical diagnostics) project through the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7).

The project brought together 13 partners from across Europe with the common objective of developing mid-IR technology based on supercontinuum sources (SCSs) to improve the early diagnosis of cancer.

The MINERVA system measures absorption peaks in the mid-IR range, allowing for analysis of a wide variety of biological constituents such as fats, proteins and DNA. This region of the spectrum offers exciting possibilities for real-time molecular-sensing such as in medicine, health care, the environment, energy and security. This spectral region can be used to identify the presence of early cancer.

The demonstration referred to in the illustration sequence above showed that histological features can be resolved using a simplified MINERVA system. With the addition of IR cameras and acousto-optic tunable filters, the performance can be expected to increase significantly.

MINERVA has developed fiber, lasers and broadband sources, components, modulators, and detectors to access this important part of the spectrum. In parallel it has identified analytical techniques using the new photonic hardware that in due course could help to improve early skin cancer diagnosis and the rapid automatic assessment of biopsy samples using a microscope.

In addition to these scientific achievements, MINERVA has driven the introduction of new products including lasers, supercontinuum sources, acousto-optic modulators and drivers, crystal and related components, and detectors for the mid-IR.

Gooch & Housego is a photonics company that researches, designs, engineers and manufactures advanced photonic systems, components and instrumentation for applications in the aerospace and defense, industrial systems, optical communications, life sciences, and scientific research sectors.

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