Smart Holograms, a British company, has developed holographic sensors that are designed for diagnostic medical uses. From the company’s website:
Smart has developed a novel method of producing holograms in a range of polymer films and of tailoring these holograms for use in sensors.
The image is stored in a thin polymer film that is chemically sensitised to react with a specific substance in, for example, a bioassay or a sample of body fluid. During the test, the target substance reacts with the polymer leading to an alteration in the image displayed by the hologram. The test result is a change in the optical: brightness, image, wavelength or position.
This approach is unique in the field of sensors since the hologram element per se provides not only the selective detection of a particular substance but also the signal transducer. For qualitative and semi-quantitative applications, a sensor hologram can be read by eye (i.e. it is a virtual instrument). However, a simple wavelength sensor can be used to read the signal when quantitative measurements are required. Opacity or colour of the sample does not interfere with operation of the sensor.
The format of the sensor allows multiplexing for simultaneous detection of several substances. Reversible and irreversible sensors can be designed to meet different requirements, and continuous monitoring of a particular substance of interest feasible. Sensors can also be miniaturised for use in various Life Sciences applications.
To read how sensor holograms are created, go here.
The PathoTester, a hand-held system that can detect growth of microbial pathogens using nanocartridge-based technology that contains microbe-specific sensor holograms, has already been developed (picture above). The new generation device — improved, miniaturized and wireless — is in the works.
More at Smart Holograms…
(hat tip: MEMBRANA.ru)