How non-line-of-sight (NLoS) imaging is changing the way we view the world

On November 17th, 2021, Science Daily posted an article about a publication made in Nature Communications, a well-recognized scientific journal, titled: “Fast non-line-of-sight imaging with high-resolution and wide field of view using synthetic wavelength holography.” This new medical technology, developed by Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, is termed non-line-of-sight (NLoS) imaging because it uses scattered light that is eventually recombined to generate an image of an object through, behind, or around an obstacle/occlusion. Florian Willomitzer, the lead author of the publication, explained how the used of scattered light works for imaging:


“Seeing around a corner versus imaging an organ inside the human body might seem like very different challenges, but Willomitzer said they are actually closely related. "If you have ever tried to shine a flashlight through your hand, then you have experienced this phenomenon. You see a bright spot on the other side of your hand, but, theoretically, there should be a shadow cast by your bones, revealing the bones' structure. Instead, the light that passes the bones gets scattered within the tissue in all directions, completely blurring out the shadow image." The goal, then, is to intercept the scattered light in order to reconstruct the inherent information about its time of travel to reveal the hidden object.”


However, the newfound challenge of capturing this light has been the fact that the speed of light is so fast that “very expensive” detectors are needed to detect it. To overcome this obstacle these Northwestern University researchers have used tailored waves and walls to successfully create holographic images. Tailored waves involve merging two lasers to generate a synthetic light instead of traditional light, which can be adjusted situationally and captured with normal detectors. Meanwhile, by using walls as mirrors they can create straight lights paths to an object of interest through other obstacles or around corners to create the holographic image.


They posit that this technology could revolutionize driving safety along winding and mountainous roads or “replace (or supplement) endoscopes for medical and industrial imaging. Instead of needing a flexible camera, capable of turning corners and twisting through tight spaces -- for a colonoscopy, for example -- synthetic wavelength holography could use light to see around the many folds inside the intestines.”


MicroBio Consulting works closely with medical device manufacturers as they receive approval for endoscopy equipment, ultrasound machines, and many other forms of patient-contacting medical devices. This approval requires that biocompatibility, sterility, safety, and effectiveness requirements are met. It is predicted that over the next two decades this NLoS technology will become ever more prevalent and require approval under FDA, ISO, and EU MDR guidelines. We look forward to working with new technologies, such as NLoS imaging, deep-brain stimulation (DBS), tomographic ultrasounds, at-home endoscopies, and so much more as we look to improve the medical device market in 2022 and beyond.


To check out other interesting articles and medical devices from 2021 visit our website here.


To read the whole article posted by Science Daily, click here.


To read the official publication by Nature Communications and the team at Northwestern University, click here.




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