Scientists at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) have developed a photonic camera capable of radiating a human body, like an x-ray. One of its main purposes is to help with endoscopy.
The procedure of endoscopy is quite unpleasant for the patient, and its speed and accuracy largely depend on the training of the doctor. The developed camera will help doctors to quickly recognize the position of the endoscope inside the body. Before that, mainly x-rays, harmful to humans, were used.
At the end of the endoscope are glass optical fibers – light guides, the light from which is reflected from the internal surfaces of tissues and organs, without passing through them. As you dive into the body, the visibility of light is weakened.
The peculiarity of the new camera is that it reacts sensitively to the flux of light particles – photons and even to some of them. This became possible, thanks to thousands of single-photon detectors placed on a silicon chip of the camera. As a result, the camera captures even the faintest light signals from an endoscope inside the body. The accuracy with which it determines its location corresponds to 1 cm, with all it takes less than 20 seconds.