Research: Tactile Imaging System

CSNAP is working on a novel tactile tumor-imaging device by exploiting the optical properties of waveguides — which are planar, flexible and transparent probes. Light traveling in a transparent waveguide will normally not leak out because of the principle of total internal reflection; if the refractive index of the guide is more than that of the surrounding material, a light ray approaching the wall of the guide will be reflected back into the guide. If, however, the guide becomes deformed because an object compresses the waveguide, then light can escape at that point. An imager will capture the light and from this image the mechanical properties of the objects may be determined.

In this case, the object in question is a tumor. In the case of the CSNAP research the waveguide consists of a flexible probe fed with light from a light emitting diode (LED). Light exiting the probe is caught on a camera, and from the emergent light the scientists are able to measure embedded tumor as small as 2.7mm. 

The applications for this system is in malignant tumor detection for breast, thyroid, and skin. This project is funded by Tobacco Formula Fund, Germinator, and Temple University.



                                                                          Tactile Imaging System Video


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                                                                                             Tactile Imaging System developed by CSNAP is used to
                                                                                                          quantify and display malignant tumors.


CSNAP Laboratory
Temple University
College of Engineering
Philadelphia, PA