Michelson Diagnostics' OCT scanner used in National Physical Laboratory's research

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The UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL), based in Middlesex, has purchased a state-of-the-art EX1301 Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanner from Kent-based Michelson Diagnostics. The OCT scanner will be used in NPL's research into quantifying results from this medical imaging technology.

'Our research will underpin the use of OCT imaging in a huge range of applications, such as the diagnosis of cancer, tissue engineering, and new ways of looking at tooth decay and dental biomaterials,' said Dr Pete Tomlins, leader of the research team at NPL. 'We aim to measure the optical properties of biological materials from OCT scans – traceable measurements will enable clinicians to take important treatment decisions from the images, with confidence in their accuracy.'

OCT provides sub-surface images of biological tissue at a far higher resolution than is possible with ultrasound, MRI or CT scanners. It uses a low-power laser, safe to patients and clinicians, to perform the scan, and can be used during an operation or clinical procedure to view changes in tissues caused by disease.

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