Laser-like focus on metabolic markers
A Lithuanian-Swiss partnership developed a system to advance research into diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Molecules have unique light-absorption qualities which act like a fingerprint for identifying markers of disease. By shining a laser onto a substance, such as blood or a person’s skin, the reflected light can help measure specific metabolite concentrations. Researchers in the SWIRSENSE project developed a new tuneable laser technology for remote-sensing critical components of blood such as glucose, lactates, urea and serum albumin, without having to take blood samples from patients.
Current technologies that do similar work cost upwards of 70,000 euro. The new system uses a short-wavelength infrared spectral range (the little-used but potentially valuable region between 1.7 and 2.5 micrometres) and is expected to cost as little as 5,000 euro. From 1980 to 2014, the number of people suffering from diabetes quadrupled to 422 million, indicating huge market potential for the SWIRSENSE system.
Project funded by MITA, Lithuanian Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology, and Research and Innovation Switzerland
- Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (Switzerland – research organisation)
- Brolis Semiconductors (Lithuania – SME and leading role)