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Opportunities in
Medical devices
and Life sciences

Our healthcare systems need to drastically change in order to cope with the need to provide effective patientcare at affordable cost to an ever increasing and ageing population. As consequence of such drive, a massive shift is expected towards increased prevention and early diagnostics performed outside of hospitals, e.g. at the general practitioner or even at home.  This drives in turn need for affordable, yet still accurate, instruments. PICs offers the possibility to realize a large variety of sensors which can be both accurate as well as very cheap in volume.

Example of key opportunities we see are:

Fiber Optics Sensor systems for in-vivo (intra-operative endoscopy-based)multi-pointmulti-parameterguidance;

Optical modules and components for low-cost (portable) Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) devices for point-of-care/home diagnostics and monitoring;

Low cost label-free biosensing disposables/readers for point-of-care diagnostics.

Examples Medical devices and Life sciences

Optical Coherent Tomography

There are many life sciences applications where Integrated Photonics is being used, especially photoacoustic imaging e.g. Optical Coherent Tomography (OCT). OCT is analogous to ultrasound imaging except that it uses light rather than sound, therefore achieving image resolution of one to ten micrometers i.e., tens or a hundred times better than ultrasound. OCT has proven its value primarily in the field of ophthalmology, where it is routinely used to assess eye health. More recently, it is gaining acceptance as a diagnostic and surgical guidance tool for catheter-based coronary procedures in cardiology, or also in dermatology where it provides high resolution images that yield in vivo information about skin health in a non-invasive way.

Biological sensing

Biological sensing is addressed by photonic integrated technologies, targeting the monitoring of vital parameters from skin temperature and sweat analysis to continuous monitoring of pulse, respiratory auscultation and cardiovascular auscultation or breath gas analysis.
Our module platform ‘Highly Sensitive Multi-parameters optical bio-sensing’ has unparalleled sensitivity and reproducibility and finds application in drug discovery and development, companion diagnostics, therapeutic drug response monitoring and early diagnostics. Our photonic integrated biosensor platform will have a major impact in instrumentation in which optical detections being exploited in order to reveal more information on drug efficacy and toxicity.

Gas sensors

Low-cost, small-footprint and sensitive gas sensors are possible when photonic integration technology is used. Photonic integration can combine all elements of a tunable laser diode absorption spectroscopy (TLDAS) gas sensor on a single photonic integrated circuit (PIC). Indium phosphide based PICs can have integrated tunable lasers, operating in the 1500 – 1600 nm regime. Photodetectors, as well as connecting waveguides, can also be integrated on the PIC. These PICs are typically fiber-coupled, and can interface with recently developed hollow-core fibers and fiber-coupled gas cells for a complete sensor. This would make a robust gas sensor.


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