To bolster a quick diagnosis following traumatic brain injury (TBI), a research team at the Bethesda, Md-based US National Institutes of Health has developed a handheld device that can reportedly provide quick detection of brain injuries, including hematoma.

According to a paper describing the team’s development of the prototype, a potential application for the finished device may be the rapid screening of TBI patients. The team points out that the device could be used as an alternative to expensive CT and MRI imaging techniques, and could also serve locations in which CT and MRI facilities are not available, including battlefields or on-the-scene accidents. The team adds that the device may also assist in determining the urgency of patient transport and treatment and monitoring known hematomas at the bedside or outpatient clinic.

Researchers say the device stemmed from the concept of using instrumental motion as a signal in near-infrared imaging, rather than treating it as noise. The prototype, researchers explain, relies on a single source configuration with dual separation detector array. The device also uses motion as a signal for pinpointing changes in blood volume in the outermost membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord.

The paper was recently published in Biomedical Optics Express

Source: The Optical Society