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A Flir SC5600 thermal-imaging camera from Flir Systems has been used as a non-invasive tool for monitoring pain processing in the central nervous system of patients suffering from small fibre neuropathy.

The NeuroSIPE ‘Beyond Pain’ programme is funded by Dutch technology foundation STW. The goal of the project is to develop a technique that enables the quantitative and non-invasive diagnosis of small fibre neuropathy, which is known to affect the local vasomotor response of the skin.

Using a method developed by the project researchers, a subject’s skin is locally heated up to a maximum of 42°C with an infrared lamp.

The thermal response of the skin is evaluated based on two signals: local skin blood flow, measured with laser Doppler flowmetry, and local skin temperature, measured with the Flir SC5600 thermography camera.

The first results on healthy volunteers demonstrate that the regulation of skin temperature can be assessed with the new technique.

SC-Series cameras in detail

  • Flir SC-Series thermal-imaging cameras are used for capturing and recording thermal distribution and variations in real time, allowing researchers to see and accurately measure heat patterns, dissipation, leakage and other temperature factors in equipment, products and processes.
  • The cameras can distinguish temperature changes as subtle as 0.02°C.
  • They feature detectors and advanced mathematical algorithms for measurements from -80°C to +3,000°C.

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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