Lincoln Agritech is developing a hand-held, non-contact medical imaging scanner that enables identification of bone and tissue damage or abnormality at millimetre resolution. The technology uses the unique focusing properties and imaging potential of evanescent waves, which are components of microwaves and can safely penetrate the body.
The scanner comprises three major components:
- A metamaterial lens to enhance the fine scattering detail of microwave radiation;
- An imaging matrix to collect electromagnetic signals from the lens using evanescent waves to perform fine scale imaging; and
- A high precision positioning camera, required to ensure precise positioning relative to the body.
We are also developing methods to reconstruct the scanner’s two-dimensional images into three-dimensional representations of scanned bone or tissue.
Initial implementation will be point-of-care applications (e.g. ambulances), as well as medical facilities. The scanners may also be adapted to a wider range of uses in the future, including veterinary scanning and the scanning of built structures.
Lincoln Agritech leads the programme and is collaborating with researchers from Waikato and Auckland Universities, the Auckland Biomedical Institute, and the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France). The programme also has linkages with hospitals in Auckland, Christchurch and Nice, and healthcare centres in remote communities.
This five year research programme is funded through the MBIE Endeavour Investment Fund.