Cheaper, reliable self-diagnosis possible with 'smart' holograms

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Washington, February 4 : Scientists have developed a novel ologram technology that may make self-diagnosis much simpler, heaper and more reliable for patients suffering from various iseases.

The new "smart" holograms may benefit patients with diabetes, ardiac problems, kidney disorders or high blood pressure.

A paper published in the journal Physics World reveals that the ew holograms can detect changes in blood-glucose levels.

Its authors Chris Lowe and Cynthia Larbey write that the new echnology may make self-diagnosis much simpler, cheaper and more eliable.

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

Traditional holograms are stored on photo-sensitive materials and emain unchanged with time. However, smart holograms use aterials called hydrogels that shrink or swell in response to ocal environmental conditions.

This feature of smart holograms makes them suitable to be used as ensors to detect chemical imbalances in potentially fatal ituations.

Smart Holograms, a spin-out company from the Institute of iotechnology at Cambridge University, has already developed a and-held syringe to measure water content in aviation fuel anks, which is necessary as aeroplane engines are liable to reeze mid-air if there is more than 30 parts water to million uel.

Lowe and Larbey believe that the same ability to detect chemical mbalances could be used by diabetics to check their blood-sugar evels, and by patients with kidney disorders to check on drenaline levels.

According to them, security forces can use it to detect chemicals ike anthrax after a terrorist attack.

"Visual images produced by smart holograms can be made to appear r disappear under appropriate chemical or biological stimuli hich makes them ideal for use in Breathalysers, monitoring heart onditions and for various security and smart packaging systems," owe and Larbey write.

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