Sitting Down with Michael Tanner, Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.
Jonathan James | | Interview
As fiber-optic technology develops at an ever-quickening pace, its applications continue to diversify (1). Now, a multidisciplinary team based in both Edinburgh and Bath, UK, present a new adaptation – a fiber-based screening device intended to aid clinicians treating severe lung conditions by providing in-depth biological information about distal regions of lung tissue (2). We sat down with Michael Tanner, one of the paper’s authors, to find out more…
What was the inspiration behind the project?
The work we published recently is one aspect of a larger project, Proteus, that aims to provide better diagnostic capabilities for people who arrive in intensive care with severe lung problems. There are two main aspects to our work. One is imaging in the lung using optical fibers to observe the presence of bacteria or other pathology-causing agents. In parallel, we are also attempting to better understand conditions in the distal lung because, as things like the acidity or oxygenation levels in these tissues change, they can tell us a lot about the tissue’s health. In fact, our goal is to observe changes in response to treatment. That should help clinicians by producing a more immediate feedback loop.
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