Sensor Networks
Terahertz Imaging in Medical Diagnostics
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Source: Laser Focus World
The field of terahertz (THz) imaging based on time-domain spectroscopy (TDS), a versatile technique for gathering images that enable us to "see through" plastics, textiles, and cardboard, has made enormous progress during the past two decades. Terahertz wavelengths—ranging from approximately 30 µm to 3 mm—are strongly absorbed by liquids and metal material, which makes terahertz imaging ideal for use identifying such materials in applications like airport security scanners and food inspection.

Unlike x-rays, terahertz waves have low photon energies in the range of 0.4 to 40 meV, which is not harmful to biological tissue. The ability of THz-TDS systems to acquire x-ray-like images without dangerous ionizing radiation makes it particularly compelling for their potential in living tissue (in vivo) applications. Terahertz waves are absorbed by water, so they are handy for distinguishing varying water content in different objects. Plus, using the unique spectral fingerprint of many biological organisms and molecules, terahertz can provide spectral information about each pixel within an image, like hyperspectral imaging cubes, which adds to the exciting potential of terahertz technology for medical diagnostics, such as cancer detection and diabetes screening. Furthermore, imaging with terahertz sources can provide sensitivity in soft tissues comparable to that of x-rays.

Read the full article at Laser Focus World.

Mistras Group