Medical

Infrared Imager Maps Out Blood Vessels

This infrared imager developed by UC San Diego  engineers can be used to easily locate an individual's blood vessels. Existing infrared imaging technologies are bulky and require an external camera and computer to work; the new device is compact and simple. The imager could be used to map out a person's blood vessels while monitoring heart rate at the same time, all without touching the person’s skin. It could also be used to see through silicon wafers to inspect the quality and composition of electronic boards. The imager detects shortwave infrared light (wavelengths from 1000 to 1400 nanometers), which is right outside of the visible spectrum (400 to 700 nanometers). It works by shining shortwave infrared light on an object or area of interest, and then converting the low energy infrared light that’s reflected back to the device into shorter, higher-energy wavelengths that the human eye can see. The device is built using organic semiconductors, so it is low-cost, flexible, and safe to use in biomedical applications.