High resolution lenses for machine vision — standard and custom lens design

Laser Technologies Detect Malaria

High Resolution Lenses for machine vision, instrumentation, inspection and vibration-sensitive applications. Standard and custom hi-res lens assemblies.

Laser Technologies

Laser Technologies

Researchers at Rice University have been developing a noninvasive, laser scanner ‘vapor nanobubble’ technology that doesn’t need to use dyes or other diagnostic chemicals to detect malaria infected cells in humans. This laser scanner is able to detect a single infected cell amidst millions of normal cells and the test results are showing zero false positive readings.

This transdermal diagnostic method utilizes optical properties and “nanosize hemozoin”, a nano particle produced by a malaria parasite that is inside of infected red blood cells in the human body. The way the technology works is by using a low-threshold power laser that creates vapor nano bubbles inside of a malaria infected cell; these bubbles burst with a unique acoustic signature that indicates the presence or lack of malaria. This technology makes for an extremely accurate diagnosis.

Dimitri Lapotko, a scientist from Rice was quoted as saying, “Ours is the first through-the-skin method that’s been shown to rapidly and accurately detect malaria in seconds without the use of blood sampling or reagents.” He was the inventor of the vapor nanobubble technology.

Malaria impacts more than 300 million people and kills more than 600,000 each year, making it one of the deadliest diseases and one which impacts young children most often. Even though there are widespread efforts to combat malaria the parasites that carry it have become resistant to the drugs used to treat it and early diagnostic tools are not readily available in the countries that are most typically impacted by the disease.

There are rapid, inexpensive test kits but they lack the reliability that’s been shown with the nanobubble technology. A blood smear test is the usual way that malaria is diagnosed. To perform this test a blood sample is taken from the patient and given to a laboratory technician that will test it under a high-quality microscope. Again, though these tests, while reliable, are not readily available in the countries in which malaria is most rampant.

While the laser technology is not inexpensive and will not be ideal or even available in many areas of the country, it is a detection tool that adds a new dimension to the diagnosis and screening and can be performed by even non medical personnel in the field, as opposed to having to transport blood samples to a medical facility for testing.

The researchers have developed a battery-powered device that they believe will be able to accommodate the screening of close to a quarter of a million people annually. The cost for diagnosis with this laser nanobubble technology is expected to be less than 50 cents per test. The first human trials are expected to begin in early 2014 in Texas. For information on the technology, visit: Rice University

Universe Optics manufacturers lenses for diode laser collimators, CD and DVD players, laser pointers, laser levels, laser surface inspection systems and positioning, measuring equipment and for use in medical diagnostic technologies.