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Patent highlights

30 Jul 2003

The pick of this week’s patent applications including a lie detector that uses infrared laser pulses.

•  Title: Non-invasive polygraph technology based on optical analysis
Applicant: Defense Group, US
International application number: WO 03/057003
Infrared laser pulses could soon be used to determine whether someone is telling the truth or is under stress. In patent application WO 03/057003, US firm Defense Group describes a non-invasive polygraph machine that fires infrared pulses at the subject. The reflected and scattered pulses are gathered and analysed by a receiver. “The receiver is connected to an information processing device capable of determining various physiological characteristics exhibited by the human subject,” say the authors.

•  Title: Apparatus for preserving tissue
Applicant: Photothera, Inc, US
International application number: WO 03/060399
Visible and near-infrared light could have a role to play in preserving organs that are used in transplants. The idea is that a light sources an organ that is in hypothermic or normothermic storage before being transplanted. The patent says that the apparatus required is a container with a cooling chamber (to carry the harvested organ) and at least one light source mounted inside the chamber that can illuminate the organ. The authors say the light, “produces a biostimulative effect on tissue, preventing or retarding damage to the tissue during storage or transport.”

•  Title: Methods and systems for microscopic imaging
Applicant: Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH, Germany and Trustees of Boston University a Massachusetts Corporation, US
International application number: WO 03/060610
The authors of patent application WO 03/060610 claim they have developed a multi-photon absorption instrument that has a lateral and axial resolution which outstrips those of current optical systems. “The aim of the invention is to provide an improved spatial resolution compared to the prior art, especially for use in laser scan microscopy and spectroscopy,” say the inventors. The tool produces microscopic images using non-linear absorption of light. The inventors say that correlated pairs of N-fold photons, which may be correlated in time and space, are focused to a point on a sample.

Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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