15 February 2006 Towards a disposable in vivo miniature implantable fluorescence detector
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In the field of fluorescent microscopy, neuronal activity, diabetes and drug treatment are a few of the wide ranging biomedical applications that can be monitored with the use of dye markers. Historically, in-vivo fluorescent detectors consist of implantable probes coupled by optical fibre to sophisticated bench-top instrumentation. These systems typically use laser light to excite the fluorescent marker dies and using sensors, such as the photo-multiplier tube (PMT) or charge coupled devices (CCD), detect the fluorescent light that is filtered from the total excitation. Such systems are large and expensive. In this paper we highlight the first steps toward a fully implantable in-vivo fluorescence detection system. The aim is to make the detector system small, low cost and disposable. The current prototype is a hybrid platform consisting of a vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) to provide the excitation and a filtered solid state Geiger mode avalanche photo-diode (APD) to detect the emitted fluorescence. Fluorescence detection requires measurement of extremely low levels of light so the proposed APD detectors combine the ability to count individual photons with the added advantage of being small in size. At present the exciter and sensor are mounted on a hybrid PCB inside a 3mm diameter glass tube.This is wired to external electronics, which provide quenching, photon counting and a PC interface. In this configuration, the set-up can be used for in-vitro experimentation and in-vivo analysis conducted on animals such as mice.
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Stephen Bellis, J. Carlton Jackson, Alan Mathewson, "Towards a disposable in vivo miniature implantable fluorescence detector", Proc. SPIE 6083, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications VI, 60830N (15 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.646268; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.646268

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