Life Sciences Hyperspectral Imaging Devices

Life Sciences Applications

The systematized study of organisms has been completely altered by the use of photonics.

Current bio-optical techniques for Medical Diagnostic, Optical Biopsy and Non-Invasive Imaging have the potential to prolong and improve the quality of life while significantly reducing medical costs for the diagnosis and tracking of disease. Advances in the fields of Genomics and pharmaceutical discovery using micro-array technology and High Throughput Screening permit the study of thousands of compounds in very short periods of time. Headwall Photonics' spectral modules and original diffraction gratings have the high efficiency, low stray light, and uniform, quality performance that our life science and medical instrument OEM customers depend on.

Headwall Photonics is led by industry veterans with established track records in the life sciences and medical instrument industries. Our rich legacy of American Holographic original diffraction grating technology coupled with the manufacturing process discipline acquired from Agilent Technologies and a superior infrastructure yields high volume, accurate and consistent high quality products. We work collaboratively to develop optical wavelength solutions that meet your needs.

Medical Diagnostics

The early diagnosis and treatment of many diseases (including cancers) is vital for prolonging and improving the quality of life and for reducing medical costs. Recent advances in molecular and optical techniques coupled with the wealth of biochemical and structural information contained in the optical signatures of tissues offers new horizons in the engineering of biomedical spectroscopy and diagnostics. Tools for early disease recognition and diagnosis in clinics and physicians' offices and devices for home monitoring are just some of the many new products being invented today.

Current bio-optical techniques include a wide variety of spectroscopic techniques for use in medical diagnostics. Photons can be elastically scattered as in diffuse reflectance and optical coherent tomography, absorbed and re-emitted at a different wavelength as in fluorescence spectroscopy, or inelastically scattered as in Raman spectroscopy. Medical devices already in development or production include:

  • Optical fiber fluorescence imaging sensors used in endoscopy for monitoring tissue abnormalities;
  • Portable fiber-optic based in-vivo, near-infrared Raman spectroscopy instruments are being used for various applications. Typical applications include: detection/characterization of pre-neoplastic skin lesions, identification of abnormalities in gastrointestinal tissue and identification/detection of changes in coronary arteries that may be associated with atherosclerosis. Several companies are also developing devices for the non-invasive monitoring of blood analysts and drugs.

Headwall Photonics' spectral modules along with their "Original" holographic grating technology has met the special considerations medical devices used in diagnostic applications require. Portable, miniaturized, cost effective devices are made with environmentally stable materials to stand up to the high variability of measuring conditions. Only "original" holographic gratings can provide the high efficiency, very low signal to noise ratio, and low stray light necessary for the high resolution needed to extract diagnostically relevant features in the analysis of biological signals and image data. These products can be customized to meet the wavelength solutions for the application-specific performance you require.

Headwall Photonics knows that development of innovative non-invasive devices and optical measuring techniques for medical diagnostics requires a large amount of talented interdisciplinary work and close cooperation with scientists, engineers and physicians. Our high level engineering architecture, nanostructure manufacturing capabilities, and knowledgeable scientists and engineers become a strategic extension of your engineering team, working collaboratively to develop optical wavelength solutions.

Non-Invasive Imaging

Achieving an accurate visual representation of the anatomy of any living organism, environment or precious object without disturbing or damaging it has been a goal of doctors, scientists and engineers for centuries. Recent advances, in optical imaging technology using photonics, are turning these dreams into reality. Using light to investigate biological systems and phenomena gives researchers the range, non-destructive capability, spatial discrimination, and speed necessary for investigating structures and function at the cellular, tissue, or even whole organism level. Investigators are using optical imaging techniques to evaluate in-vivo cellular and molecular responses to a number of photosensitizers used in photodynamic therapy.

Headwall Photonics' spectral modules along with their "Original" holographic gratings are being used in non-invasive imaging devices for a wide range of tasks. Covering the ultra-violet to mid-infrared spectral region, these portable, miniaturized, cost effective devices are made with environmentally stable materials to stand up to a high variability of conditions. Only "original" holographic gratings offer the high efficiency, optimal signal to noise ratio, and low stray light required for the high resolution necessary to extract relevant features in the analysis of biological and non-biologic imaging data. These products can be customized to meet the wavelength solutions for the application specific performance you require.

Headwall Photonics knows that development of innovative non-invasive devices and optical measuring techniques for medical diagnostics requires a large amount of talented interdisciplinary work and close cooperation with scientists, engineers and physicians. Our high level engineering architecture, nanostructure manufacturing capabilities, and knowledgeable scientists and engineers become a strategic extension of your engineering team, working collaboratively to develop optical wavelength solutions.

For a more detailed discussion of your application-specific needs, please contact us.

Genomics/Proteomics

The use of nucleic acid micro-arrays has become commonplace in genomics research. Custom arrays permit rapid analysis of thousands of genes for the purpose of gene discovery, sequencing, mapping, expression analysis, and polymorphism detection. Comparable tools for proteomics are also currently under development. Protein arrays can be used to screen for interaction of proteins with other proteins, DNA, antibodies, cell or small molecules. While parallels can be drawn between the current state of protein chip technology and DNA chips from approximately five years ago, designing protein micro-arrays and detection systems presents new challenges not encountered with DNA micro-arrays.

Micro-array technology generally makes binary comparisons of gene expression from an organism for each micro array slide. The binary comparisons can be between cells in two different states or conditions, such as between normal or cancerous. Micro array technology requires the testing or probing procedure to be "reported" by a fluorescent, radioactive or color readout, which can be analyzed by scanners with a resolution equivalent to each addressable point on the array surface. New hyperspectral fluorescence imaging micro-array scanners for monitoring gene expression in cells from thousands of genes on the array have been developed. New imaging scanners collect the entire fluorescence spectrum from each pixel of the scanned micro-array. The accuracy, flex ability and useful dynamic range of the gene expression data are greatly improved over those obtained in non-imaging micro-array scanners.

Headwall Photonics Hyperspectral VS15 is an unparalleled imaging spectrograph with extremely high spectral/spatial resolution. All spectral modules are equipped with high quality, low stray light original diffraction gratings manufactured by Headwall Photonics. Headwall Photonics is a leading supplier of high performance gratings and modules for OEM photonic applications. Our compact modules are cost effective, pre-aligned optical systems that are easily integrated into your system to save development costs and time to market. These products can be customized to meet the wavelength solutions for the application-specific performance you require.

Headwall Photonics' rich legacy of American Holographic original diffraction grating technology coupled with the manufacturing process discipline of Agilent Technologies and a superior infrastructure yields high volume, accurate and consistent high quality products. Engineers at Headwall Photonics have the optical placement expertise to assist you in creating the proper alignment of the components necessary for the development of analytical and detection systems. Our high level engineering architecture, nanostructure manufacturing capabilities, and scientists and engineers become a strategic extension of your engineering team, working collaboratively to develop optical wavelength solutions.

For a more detailed discussion of your application-specific needs, please contact us.

Optical Biopsy

Optical biopsy is a technique whereby light energy is used to obtain information about the structure and function of tissues without disrupting the sample. The methods are non-invasive and use non-ionizing radiation to probe for tumors without damaging healthy tissue. Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy can be used to distinguish normal tissue from cancerous tissue. Optical biopsy techniques use the fact that healthy, pre-cancerous and cancerous tissues all emit different fluorescent signals when stimulated by ultraviolet wavelengths. Optical biopsy methods can be used where standard excisional biopsy is hazardous or unadvisable.

As one of the more popular optical biopsy methods, optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-contact, non-invasive imaging technique for performing high-resolution cross-sectional imaging. OCT uses infrared light waves that reflect off the internal microstructure within biological tissues. In addition to providing high resolution for the evaluation of microanatomic structures, OCT is inherently able to provide information regarding tissue composition. Using spectroscopy, clinicians can evaluate the spectral absorption characteristics to determine the health of the tissue investigated.

Headwall Photonic's concave original holographic gratings make an ideal spectral filter for these devices. The concave structure focuses the light, eliminating the need for additional mirrors which increase the cost and complexity of the optical train. Covering the ultra-violet to mid-infrared spectral region, these portable, miniaturized, cost effective devices are made with environmentally stable materials to stand up to a high variability of conditions. High efficiency, low polarization dependent loss, very low signal to noise ratio, and low stray light diffraction gratings provide the high resolution necessary to extract relevant features in the analysis of biological imaging data. These products can be customized to meet the wavelength solutions for the application-specific performance you require.

Engineers at Headwall Photonics have the expertise to design spectral modules and assist you in creating the proper alignment of the components necessary for the development of innovative optical biopsy devices. Our high level engineering architecture, nanostructure manufacturing capabilities, and scientists and engineers become a strategic extension of your engineering team, working collaboratively to develop optical wavelength solutions.

High Throughput Screening

High throughput screening (HTS) has changed the drug discovery paradigm. It is defined as the use of miniaturized robotics-based technology for the large scale screening of compounds against a given sample target. The methods of HTS are applied to the screening of combinational chemistry, genomics, protein, and peptide libraries. The industry has shown enormous potential both for the improvement of human health and the realization of significant profits in that process. The pharmaceutical industry currently has a pressing need for improvement in high-throughput screening technology. Miniaturization, automation (speed) and cost reduction are the keys to delivering improved HTS solutions and driving wider adoption of these capabilities. Optical biosensor applications that include easy implementation and long-term stability of the sensor element are increasingly designed to meet these demands.

Optical biosensors and signal detection imaging devices for HTS are based on fluorescence, chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, electroluminescence, or colorimetry. Grating-based optical biosensors are being developed for detecting chemical, biochemical and biological substances in samples. These optical solutions are attractive because they offer a small "footprint", require minimal sample sizes, and allow label-free, non-contact detection, thereby reducing costs and enabling high sensitivity measurements without damage to the original sample.

Headwall Photonics' Raman, diode-array, and hyperspectral imaging modules are equipped with Headwall Photonics' own high quality, low stray light original holographic diffraction gratings. With excellent signal/noise ratio, superb photometric accuracy, precision and enhanced quality, these modules exceed the high spectral/spatial resolution necessary for the most demanding high throughput screeners. Our compact modules are cost effective, prealigned optical systems that are easily integrated into your system to save development costs and time to market. These products can be customized to meet the wavelength solutions for the application specific performance you require.

Engineers at Headwall Photonics are ready to assist you in creating grating-based optical biosensors for HTS. As a leading supplier in high performance spectral modules for OEM photonic applications, our high level engineering architecture, nanostructure manufacturing capabilities, and scientists and engineers become a strategic extension of your engineering team. Headwall Photonics' rich legacy of American Holographic original diffraction grating technology coupled with the manufacturing process discipline of Agilent Technologies and a superior infrastructure yields high volume, high quality products. We work collaboratively to develop optical wavelength solutions that meet your needs.

For a more detailed discussion of your application-specific requirements, please contact us.