Painless laser device could replace the X-ray

27 Sep 2010

A new portable laser device could take the place of X-ray technology as a non-invasive way to diagnose illness.

The technology can be used to study bones, teeth cell information and could herald a more effective, painless era of diagnostics.

Known as the ‘Raman spectroscopy’, it uses painless lasers to even distinguish between cancerous, pre-cancerous and healthy cells and the technology could be widely used in five years.

The Raman Spectroscopy studies vibrational, rotational, and other low-frequency modes in a system and once it has detected its target, the beam returns to an electronic detector with information that can reveal the illness.

Faster diagnosis

The method has the potential diagnose an illness faster and more cost-effectively than X-rays and is already widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Michael Morris, professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan, US, discussed the possibility of using Raman technology on humans in his report: Raman spectroscopic measures of bone quality and function.

“Raman spectroscopy can be performed on cells and fresh tissue, as well as on fixed and embedded specimens and even on human subjects,” he said.