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.