Applications of holography in medical field




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With the system, doctors can view, manipulate and dissect body parts that are re-created in mid-air above an ordinary desktop. The use of 2D digital scans revolutionized medicine, because they allowed doctors to see an individual patient's anatomy without cutting into the body.


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Other systems, like GE's Vivid E9 with XDclear , already compile such images to produce 3D visuals that appear much like the real thing, and they even have 3D properties that allow them to be rotated or taken apart. But they are still limited to display on a flat screen. EchoPixel appears to take 3D imaging a step further by generating interactive holograms.

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Experts have become very good at reading 2D images and manipulating 3D representations on a flat screen, so holograms may not add a huge advantage in some applications, says Sandy Napel , co-director of Stanford University's Radiology 3D and Quantitative Imaging Laboratory. But there are specific procedures that EchoPixel may be primed to improve. For instance, the technology is already being tested at the University of California, San Francisco, for virtual colonoscopies—an alternative to the unpopular procedure in which a colonoscope is inserted and manipulated within the human body.

You can rotate the image at different angles, cut it in half and search the interior surface for polyps. It's a way of visualizing the colon that has great potential to improve how quickly you could look at percent of the interior. True 3D medical imaging may also benefit doctors who need to visualize abnormal or complex 3D structures, like the mess of broken and displaced bones that can result from trauma due to a motor vehicle accident.

Heart conditions in very young patients are another area where medical holograms could shine. Think about kids born with genetic defects that cause the heart to develop abnormally. A surgeon is going to go in there and operate on a very young human being and hopefully make a correction. They'll get a careful report from a radiologist, saying that some blood vessels are connected here and they should be there, and the surgeons can see it also on CT scans, but not the same way they are going to see it in the operating room.

And while years of education and experience enable doctors to work effectively with 2D medical images, the rest of us often have a very hard time deciphering them. That highlights another intriguing application for virtual reality—patient education. It's a promising niche in an era when the public is demanding more information from their medical providers.

I think it could be pretty neat and pretty powerful for patients going in for complex surgeries to see exactly what it is the surgeon is going to see and what they are going to do during the operation. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up. Present practical applications include the use of digital holographic microscopy, and wide-angle, broadband holography, which is hailed as a technology that could expand the limits of large-angle holography. This development represents a potential dramatic improvement in medical imaging.

Among other improvements, it could be harnessed to vastly improve present 3D imaging modalities, such as CT, in which 2D scans must be rotated, expanded, integrated and replotted repeatedly to generate the illusion of a true 3D image. Viewed in real time, the authors note that content can be viewed by multiple professionals, from different points of view, without the use of special 3D eyewear. Using holographic technology, it should be possible to obtain a single image that faithfully reproduces structures, regardless of the angle of view.

While holography largely remains an intriguing novelty, the possible applications for medical imaging — including improvements in image resolution, medical diagnosis, planning, information sharing and treatment — remains exceptionally bright. Your email address will not be published.

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A Brief History Of course, none of these imagined uses of holographic technology reflect present, real-world applications. A Glimpse of the Future Nevertheless, holography remains an intriguing and promising technology. Healthcare of the Future. The method consists of three steps: Since the holographic stereogram retains only the horizontal parallax of the object, it is limited to those applications in which surfaces are important such as prostheses and craniofacial surgery.

Moreover, most biological data such as CT or MR scans are generally collected as serial scans rather than multiangular views, multiplexed holography that reconstructs the image with all the sections at correct depths locations and both horizontal and vertical parallaxes is more useful. Multiplexed holograms which retains full parallax and physical depths cues are known as volumetric multiplexed holograms, or multiplane-multiplexed holograms.

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Medical Holograms Are Now Part of the Surgeon’s Toolkit

A volumetric multiplexed hologram is made from a stack of images such as a CT or MR scan. The first image in the stack is projected onto a screen placed in front of a holographic film. A hologram of this image is recorded by adding a reference beam. Next the screen is moved a few millimeters away from the holographic film and the second image in the stack is projected onto the screen, and a second exposure is made on the first one.

All the images are similarly recorded, each at slightly greater distance than its predecessor. The film is then developed. When the hologram is reconstructed, it shows all the slices distributed in the three-dimensional space at different distances. Dispersion compensation techniques can be employed for making the multiplexed hologram so that the image can be viewed by a white light source. The process of volumetric holographic multiplexing is similar to that of "inverse tomography" in which the projection screen mimics the tomographic slicing mechanisms, and the screen's gradual displacements mimics the patient's's linear translation through the scanner.

Since the volumetric multiplexed hologram uses serial sections at different Z coordinates in space, it can be termed as 'zeta multiplexed hologram'. It may be pointed out that the volumetric multiplexed hologram faithfully reconstructs complete information including physical depth cues and all of the grey-scale tonality in every slice without geometric or photometric distortion. The complete system for producing and display of clinically useful multiplexed hologram can be automated. The holographic technique of light-in-flight recording can be effectively adapted for implementing first-arriving light principle for imaging through human tissue.

The holographic method permits the use of both continuos and pulsed lasers with short coherence length. A short coherence length in holography is equivalent to a short pulse. Holography permits a gate that is as short as the pulse itself. A short-pulse laser beam is split into object beam and reference beam. The object beam passes through the tissue, and the reference beam is delayed so that it arrives at the recording plate in coincidence with the first-arriving light.

Thus only the first-arriving light is recorded as a hologram. In practice, the reference beam is incident at a large angle to the recording plate, so that it arrives at different parts of the plate at different times. A part of the hologram would record the first-arriving light and the later-arriving light would be recorded at the other parts. Recording of a three dimensional image of the eye was one of the earliest applications of holography in the field of ophthalmology. Any retinal detachment or intraocular foreign body can be detected. Holography can also be applied for the measurement of corneal topography and crystalline lens changes and for the study of surface characteristics of both the nerve head and the cornea.

Current methods of determining the shape of the central surface miss the central part and its periphery.

Holographic Techniques

The major advantage of holographic technique is the ultra high precision sub-um range with which such measurements are possible. The elastic expansion of the cornea can also be measured by holographic interferometry. This information is vital for corneal surgery.

Medical Applications of Holography

The expansion of the cornea of fresh enucleated bovine eyes has been examined as a result of a small increase in intraocular pressure using double exposure holographic interferometry. Their first investigations have revealed that each bovine cornea has its own typical expansion. The studies made so far show that holography has potential to investigate corneal endothermal morphology, changes on the cornea, crystalline lens changes, and surface characteristics of both the nerve head and the retina. A very useful application of diffractive optics is in the correction of refractive errors for old persons who have been operated for cataract by the use of a bifocal intraocular lens.

Medical applications of holography

Such persons have difficulty in changing the focus of their eyes for near distant and far distant objects. The bifocal lens is a combination of a conventional refractive lens and a diffractive lens, the former focussed to infinity and the later for near distance vision. The diffractive lens is fabricated on the rear of the conventional lens. When the eyes are focussed for a distant object, a blurred image is superimposed due to the presence of diffractive lens and vice versa, which obviously reduces the image quality.

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In most cases, the blurred image is discarded by the human visual perception and retinal processing system. It is possible to place an ultra-thin 5 to 10 um diffractive lens directly on the eye's cornea, where natural tissue growth over it would secure it, creating a semitransparent contact lens that would provide full visual ability.

Both continuous wave and pulse laser holography have been used for applications of holography in dentistry. The human ear is embedded in temporal bone that forms part of the skull base. The ear may be broadly divided into three parts: The outer ear consists of pinna not shown in the figure , the external auditory canal and the tympanic membrane. The tympanic membrane is the inlet of the middle ear, which transmits the sound coming from the outer ear to the inner ear through auditory ossicles viz.

The middle ear is located within the tympanic cavity and contains a chain of auditory ossicles. The inner ear is the cochlea that has a coil like shape. The cochlea is separated into two parallel canals by basilar membrane. The receptor cells for hearing sense are spatially distributed on the basilar membrane.

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