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Seeing Through Blood

Even the best medical imaging devices have a hard time seeing through blood. An Israeli startup is out to cure that vision deficiency. Nesher-based CByond has developed a flexible, disposable camera that fits on the end of an endoscope or catheter; its image-sensing chip transmits color pictures at ten times the resolution of a 3,000-fiber bundle. CByond has built a prototype five millimeters across and is working on a 1.5-millimeter version. Because blood scatters light, conventional angioscopes can “see” only by temporarily stopping the flow of blood. CByond’s camera solves that problem by using polarized light for illumination. A filter passes the polarized light reflected from the artery wall, blocking the unpolarized light scattered from blood cells. The camera should help find areas of the artery wall that are in danger of bursting. CByond plans to begin human tests within 18 months.

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