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Glass Optics in Healthcare Diagnostics

Monday, October 04, 2010 by Accu-Glass

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Optics and related technologies now have a significant presence in healthcare diagnostics. Optical applications provide a non-contact means for measuring fluid velocity and performing chemical analysis.

Glass has the unique ability to be formulated for the transmission or absorption of light for a specific purpose.

A common application includes current point-of-care instrumentation that can utilize a glass capillary tube for blood samples to measure hematological parameters across specific wavelengths.

Glass is an ideal substrate for optical applications because it:

  • Can be fully transparent in the visible spectrum or tailored to absorb specific wavelengths
  • Has optical characteristics (transmission level / index of refraction) that are not altered during or after processing
  • Will not discolour through the visible range
  • Can be produced in various geometries (tubing / rod) that can provide optical effects through lensing / magnification without changing its wavelength transmission characteristics
  • Has a chemical composition that can be tailored to absorb laser light for creating a hermetic seal in electronic applications

Additionally, the optical properties of glass can support other applications that include:

  • Flow cytometry cell analysis for clinical diagnostics and pharmaceutical drug development
  • Variable drug delivery applications
  • Glass tube fluorescent marking for identification and information needs
  • UV adhesive bonding through transparent glass

As the healthcare market embraces non-invasive diagnostic methods, glass and its optical properties offer unique features and benefits to serve this emerging market.