|near infrared spectroscopy
:: non-invasive analysis and diagnosis
Current near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic techniques will expand the range of non invasive blood and tissue chemistry measurements. These changes also will provide accurate readings unaffected by skin color or body fat.
"Once complete, this device will allow chemical analysis and diagnosis without removing samples from the patient. It will be useful for monitoring surgery patients, assessing severity of traumatic injury, and evaluating injuries in space," said Dr. Babs Soller, researcher on the National Space Biomedical Research Institute's smart medical systems team.
"Light in the near infrared region has slightly longer wavelengths than red light. It is important for medicine because those wavelengths, for the most part, actually pass through skin and to some extent bone, allowing you to get chemical information about tissues and blood," said Soller, a research associate professor of surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "We're measuring hematocrit, tissue pH and tissue oxygenation using our device and standard techniques," she said. "These data will give us the information needed to derive equations to calibrate the new NIR instrument."
Since the technology is being designed to meet the lightweight, low-power and portable requirements of the space program, it will also be useful in ambulances, helicopters and emergency rooms.
"The beauty of the non-invasive technique is that it allows physicians to take measurements continuously, once a second if you want," she said. "We think these measurements might help prevent serious complications from traumatic injuries by providing early indications of low oxygen availability." >from *Needle-Free Blood And Tissue Measurements*, October
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