With the research and development of a novel measuring instrument, future joint articular cartilage damage should be able to be assessed quantitatively in order to be able to offer patients a precisely adapted form of therapy. For this purpose, European universities and companies work closely together in the context of the MIRACLE project.
The company OptoPrecision GmbH from Bremen, Germany contributes to the project with its extensive know-how in the field of electronic laser control and infrared measurement technology, as well as in the construction and manufacturing of corresponding sensing systems. OptoPrecision is responsible for the conception and the production of the first prototypes.
The measurement of cartilage composition is painless and non-destructive (no sample extraction) multi-spectral in the mid-infrared using multiple lasers, which are coupled into a glass fiber. This leads to a medical hand instrument, which is used for the examination of the corresponding joint by the doctor. The back reflex is transmitted via the same fiber into the device and evaluated. This gives the surgeon a numerical statement about the cartilage health status.
The corresponding technology will be tested at the beginning in veterinary medicine and, if successful, will subsequently be marketed for human medicine. Furthermore, this technology may also be interesting in the future for other fields, such as environmental analysis (e.g. water analysis). Through a lively exchange of expertise through participation in relevant scientific events, other fields of application should also be developed in the medium term.