Image of a spin-out

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Kent Enterprise and the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent have spun out a high-tech imaging company that is set to advance biomedical optics and conservation.

Optopod is the brainchild of Adrian Podoleanu, Professor of Biomedical Optics and Head of the Applied Optics Group in the School of Physical Sciences. It has developed a technique based on optical coherence tomography (OCT) that has proved successful in non-destructive imaging of superficial tissue.

Optopod’s technology has the advantage of being non-invasive, providing high-depth resolution while enabling safe application to different types of tissue such as skin, teeth, gum, internal vessel walls, hair and even burns.

The technology is also finding applications in biology and art conservation, with one recent experiment being conducted in association with the British Museum and the National Gallery, London. It allowed scientists, conservationists and art historians to observe not only the structure of the varnish layer on a painting but also the different layers of paint and preparatory drawings beneath those layers.

The technique is evolving rapidly and the University has applied for several patents to protect the technology.