News | February 04, 2008

Patients Can Self-Diagnose Using “Smart” Holograms

February 5, 2008 - Patients with diabetes, cardiac problems, kidney disorders or high blood pressure could benefit from the development of new hologram technology.

The new “smart” holograms, which can detect changes in, for example, blood-glucose levels, should make self-diagnosis much simpler, cheaper and more reliable, write Chris Lowe and Cynthia Larbey in February's Physics World.

A hologram is a recording of an optical interference pattern created when laser light shone on an object is made to overlap with a separate beam of light that does not pass through the object. When light is shone onto the interference pattern, a 3D image of the original object is recreated.

Traditional holograms, like those on a credit card, are stored on photo-sensitive materials and remain unchanged with time. Smart holograms, however, use materials called hydrogels that shrink or swell in response to local environmental conditions. These holograms can be used as sensors to detect chemical imbalances, giving diabetics the ability to measure blood-sugar levels or patients with kidney disorders to check on adrenaline levels.

For more information: www.physicsworld.com

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