Being able to determine physiological parameters deep within the distal lung will provide valuable information to clinicians.
We are developing a series of sensing reporter molecules which will be attached to the end of one of the optical fibres that makes up the Panoptes fibre bundle. These reporter molecules work on the basis of fluorescence or Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) techniques.
We have developed a range of SERS reporter molecules that can be encased in small spheres made from a biodegradable plastic polymer, known as a microsphere. The microspheres are then placed onto the end of the fibre in order to directly determine important physiological parameters such as pH and oxygen levels. Measuring the pH of the fluid within tiny gas-exchanging air sacs (alveoli) can give scientists an idea of cell function, antibiotic action, and an indication of overall lung health.