Candidate technologies to enable this benefit include the fusion of imaging and optical spectroscopy to enable rapid identification of key markers. Hence, a novel system based on IR negative contrast imaging (NCI) is presented that employs an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) source comprising a periodically-poled LiNbO3 (PPLN) crystal. The crystal operates in the shortwave and midwave IR spectral regions (ca. 1.5 – 1.9 μm and 2.4 – 3.8 μm, respectively). Wavelength tuning is achieved by translating the crystal within the pump beam. System size and complexity are minimised by the use of single element detectors and the intracavity OPO design. Images are composed by raster scanning the monochromatic beam over the scene of interest; the reflection and/or absorption of the incident radiation by target materials and their surrounding environment provide a method for spatial location. Initial results using the NCI system to characterise wound biopsies are presented here.
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Chris R. Howle, Abigail M. Spear, Ehsan Gazi, Nicole J. Crane, "Monitoring combat wound healing by IR hyperspectral imaging," Proc. SPIE 9703, Optical Biopsy XIV: Toward Real-Time Spectroscopic Imaging and Diagnosis, 97031E (7 March 2016);