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FLIR thermal science cameras support medical research - .PDF file.

Thermal imaging aids biomedical research

A leading US university has been using a FLIR A655sc thermal imaging camera to study the effect of temperature on tissue autofluorescence. 

Tissue autofluorescence spectroscopy is a technique that measures the intrinsic light emissions from biological agents upon excitation by a light source. The technique has been proven to differentiate between normal and diseased tissue and thus shows great promise for surgical procedures.  

Many past studies have often assumed a constant temperature during measurements where in vivo experiments were assumed to be at body temperature and in vitro experiments were assumed to be at room temperature. However, there are instances in which the temperature may vary greatly such as during ablation surgeries. In these cases, an understanding of temperature effects on tissue autofluorescence is potentially crucial for accurate interpretation of results during these procedures.

Using a FLIR A655sc thermal imaging camera the US academic researchers have been able to demonstrate an inverse relationship between temperature and autofluoresence for ex-vivo human tissue.  

A member of the US research team commented “Since we were looking to correlate the effects of temperature to our recorded autofluorescence signals, it was very important for us to acquire accurate and reliable temperature values”. The researcher added “We chose to use a FLIR A655sc thermal imaging camera because of its affordability as a qualitative temperature imaging tool. In addition, we were able to equip the camera with a variety of magnification lenses to better view our small tissue samples.” The researchers involved in the project say that these experiments were their first time using a FLIR thermal imaging camera. They said they were surprised how easy this camera was to use. “You just plug it in, connect it with the software, and you’re ready to go.”

The FLIR A655sc is a high-resolution thermal imaging camera with an uncooled detector that is specifically aimed at scientists and researchers. The camera has Gigabit Ethernet and USB outputs, a wide variety of lens options, and different mounting options, which makes it easy to use in combination with microscopes.

FLIR Systems specialises in technologies that enhance perception and awareness.  The company brings innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging and visible light imaging technology and systems for measurement, diagnosis, location and advanced threat detection.  Its products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance productivity, increase energy efficiency and make the workplace safer.

FLIR Systems has six operating segments – surveillance, instruments, OEM and emerging markets, maritime, security and finally, detection. Of these six, ‘instruments’ is of greatest interest to trade and industry and the second largest segment in the company’s portfolio. This division provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial and scientific applications.

These products are manufactured across five production sites, three in the USA and two in Europe; Sweden and Estonia.

A model to suit every application and budget
The options that FLIR Systems provides for measuring temperature and studying thermal performance have never been greater.  Not only does the company offer a huge range of models to suit all thermal application needs but the technology is also affordable and very easy to use.  Thermal cameras now come in various shapes, sizes and degrees of sophistication and FLIR continues to invest heavily in the development of new and complementary technologies to differentiate itself from competitors.

An important milestone in the development of thermal imaging has been the introduction of the FLIR Lepton® core, a micro longwave detector, the size of a mobile SIM.  This has allowed thermal imaging to be repackaged to meet the needs of an even wider audience and, in combination with another new technology called Infrared Guided Measurement – IGM™ – has led to the development of a range of test and measurement meters with imaging capability.

Another important growth area for FLIR thermal imaging is in continuous monitoring to assure quality and safety.  Through its introduction of discrete fixed mounted thermal cameras which are fully compliant industry standard plug-and-play protocols, FLIR Systems has provided industry with infrared machine vision which is instantly ready for quick and easy network installation.

Protecting assets and people from fire is an area for which thermal imaging is least known but, thanks to FLIR Systems’ development, it is now one of the most cost-effective methods available.  Its application flexibility and rapid return on investment present an attractive proposition for any site or safety manager.

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