Spectrophotometric technology has been used for decades to analyze and differentiate colors, chemical compounds, and to detect impurities in various substances. As this technology continues to evolve, new methods of analysis are developing and finding multiple applications in the healthcare field. Spectral imaging has a variety of applications, which now includes using this technology for early detection in skin cancer patients.
Determining cell and tissue changes with IR spectroscopy
Spectral imaging uses light to differentiate human tissues by type, using rapid and non-invasive analytical methods. Light in the IR (infrared) region responds to tissue by exhibiting variations in wavelength absorption rates. The resulting data allows specialists to determine changes in tissues and cell growth. Scientists are merely scratching the surface of this new technology, but these same principles have already been applied to many other areas of bioimaging and research.
A recent online article in BioPhotonics Magazine claims that “A new wave of data manipulation and interpretation in IR imaging will enable leaps in biomedical research and diagnosis, according to Rohit Bhargava, professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and winner of the 2013 Craver Award for pioneering IR spectroscopic imaging.” One of the positive results of this research is that new research methods have uncovered ways of using IR light measurement for early identification of cancer cells in patients. Spectral imaging is not only faster than other methods of detection; it is also a less invasive and a more affordable choice in healthcare for patients.
Early detection leads to early treatment
Early detection is necessary for developing early treatment options and crucial for positive outcomes in cancer patients. This is especially true of skin cancer patients, for whom early detection can often be difficult to achieve. New methods of spectral imaging allow doctors to identify early-stage lesions in skin cancer patients that have been difficult to identify in the past using other methods of analysis. These new methods of spectral analysis have been tested on both pigmented and non-pigmented skin lesions with increasingly positive results. Using IR spectrophotometric measurement, abnormalities in cell tissues are quantifiable, and early detection can be achieved at an even higher rate of accuracy. This method is both rapid and non-invasive, making it superior to methods that require multiple biopsies that damage existing tissue and involve a longer laboratory testing period to produce results.
Spectral data that aids in cancer research and diagnosis
Spectral imaging can deliver multiple forms of data, which provide a wealth of information about abnormalities in the human body systems. From measuring hemoglobin and oxygen levels that alert doctors to potential changes in human tissues to vascular imaging that shows higher levels of blood flood and vascular changes that indicate abnormal cell growth and functioning, spectral imaging is quickly becoming the future of healthcare and diagnostic treatments.
Spectrophotometric technology and instrumentation
From biomedical engineering to pharmaceutical research, spectral imaging has become the new choice in medical technology for modern medicine. As new discoveries are being made, more uses for this simple yet effective method of analysis are taking center stage. At HunterLab, we see the future of spectral analysis and color measurement in the medical industry. Our experience in the healthcare industry has opened up doors to new research and opportunities that better utilize spectrophotometric technology in the medical field. We develop instrumentation that is adaptable to an ever changing industry, and we work hard to meet our clients’ needs and challenges. Contact HunterLab today, and together we can discover the many uses of spectral imaging and work towards a better healthcare future for our nation.
Mr. Philips has spent the last 30 years in product development and management, technical sales, marketing, and business development in several industries. Today, he is the global market development manager for HunterLab, focused on understanding customer needs, providing appropriate solutions and education, and helping to solve customer color challenges across these industries and cultures.