According to media reports, endoscopy has fundamentally changed medical treatment. Doctors can use a miniature camera attached to the end of the line with the thickness of the rope to spy on the internal organs of the patient without major surgery. At present, researchers at Stanford University in the United States have recently developed a new endoscope, which is the smallest endoscope in the world and can even detect single cells in patients.
The endoscope with a thick and thin needle will potentially capture single cancer cells and diseased organs, which will avoid the harm caused by entering the human body with a larger diameter endoscope, such as brain tissue. At the same time, this super slim endoscope will form smaller scars than laparoscopy.
Conventional endoscopes are made of multiple optical fibers, which can illuminate the diseased area of the human body, record the image and return it to the observer. The more fibers in the endoscope, the higher the definition of the image, but more fiber bundles will make the endoscope thicker.
A research team led by Strauss Kahn of Stanford University used a multimode fiber to build an endoscope. Multimode fiber can carry light along with a variety of different routes. The view of the research team is to use a single fiber to illuminate objects and transmit data. The challenge of this technology is information interference because light will be transmitted along different paths.
In order to achieve this, Kahn led the research team to build a device – spatial light modulator, which can continuously send the laser beam to the optical fiber in a random path. Due to the random path, once the light leaves the optical fiber, a speckle image will be formed, and some light lines will be fed back to the optical fiber.
A computer program designed by the research team can analyze the speckle images fed back to the optical fiber and use them to form an image. This technology will improve the resolution of the image, even far beyond previous expectations, and can observe objects the size of a single cell.