UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a miniaturized terahertz imaging system that can be integrated to the tip of commercially available endoscopes, with significantly larger detectable depths and faster image acquisition rates.
Terahertz imaging has found applications in medical diagnostics due to low interference, non-ionizing radiation, and high sensitivity and specificity to variations in tissue hydration levels. However, currently available terahertz imaging systems are limited by large size which hinders their application in medical imaging, limited penetration depth into the biological tissue (0.1mm), long acquisition time, and limited image resolution.
UCLA researchers proposed a miniaturized terahertz imaging system that can be integrated to the tip of commercially available endoscopes, with significantly larger detectable depths and faster image acquisition rates. The proposed technology uses a two-dimensional array of plasmonic photoconductive terahertz sources and detectors and an image-processing algorithm to generate diagnostically useful clinical data based on both the terahertz and optical imaging data.
The UCLA researchers have developed and characterized plasmonic photoconductive terahertz sources and detectors. Currently, efforts are being made to integrate the terahertz imaging systems into conventional endoscopes and test them in ex-vivo biological tissues and organs. The proposed terahertz imaging system is expected to offer: 3 mm detectable depth into biological tissues, ~30 μm depth resolution, sub-millimeter lateral resolution, and ~1 ms scan time for each 3 x 3 pixel set.
|United States Of America||Published Application||20190150719||05/23/2019||2015-815|
Additional Patent Pending
Terahertz, endoscope, plasmonic photoconductive source/detector, image-processing, two-dimensional array