|Article at NPR.org:|
"In one study, Gruev and his team tested their polarization cameras in mice, looking for signs of colon cancer. Traditional colonoscopy techniques employ black and white images to look for abnormal shapes, such as polyps. But sometimes, cancerous tissue in the colon is flat, blending in with healthy tissue.--end quote
Gruev's camera, in contrast, successfully converted polarization data into color images in real time in the mice studies, revealing where the healthy tissue ended and the diseased tissue began.
Interestingly, different types of cancer cells have different polarization signatures, Gruev says, while healthy tissues have a consistent profile.
"The polarization structure makes the cancer apparent," he says. Clinical trials with human breast cancer patients are now underway.
At this point, doctors have no way to confirm during the operation that they've completely removed a tumor. One day, Gruev believes, polarization imaging will be part of every surgical oncologist's toolkit, bringing the power of a mantis shrimp's eye to the operating room."