Infrared and medical use?

reptiles

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Greetings,

This is my first visit here. I've been reading for hours trying to catch up.

I found this BB from a link from the ARC site.

I was wondering about the use of the infrared LED for "medical field use --finding veins, etc."

Can anyone explain how that works?

I'm a paramedic and often work with kids with really small, hard to locate veins ...getting an IV line is often challenging.

I've tried xenon flashlights, red LED lights as well as $400 line powered transilluminators with various degrees of success. I never tried an IR source and would really like to know more about that.

I already have a blue LED for use in examining eyes with floracine dye; a UV LED on order (for identifing fungi) so I'm reluctant to add yet another IR unit unless I know it works.

Don't you wish there was an LED light with selectable LEDs?

Anyway, thanks for any advice or suggestions. I will indeed check back and learn more from this BB. I already learned that I should have ordered from the "favorite distributors" rather than directly from ARC for better pricing
wink.gif


Regards,
Mark Miller
 

Doug

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Hmm.... Maybe an ARC with a dual color LED? I have never heard of a Tri-color LED ...

Peter, is there such a thing?

Mark, would it be best to have, IR/UV, UV/BLUE (assuming that a two color LED light can be mabe
smile.gif
. But, of course if a *3* color light could be made, I take it you would want to have IR/UV/Blue, right?) in one light? Such a light would probably be very expensive, but, then again, for your purposes, that is a small price to pay! Oh, and what is a "transilluminator"?

Doug

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by reptiles:
....Don't you wish there was an LED light with selectable LEDs? ... $400 line powered transilluminators ... Regards,
Mark Miller
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

hmmwv

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Well - there's one use for IR I hadn't heard of - there's a whole new world out there in the infrared spectrum - and yes, veins do look different when illuminated with an IR source - but the catch is you need NV goggles to see the difference (ALOT of stuff looks different in IR illumination - mainly synthetic plastics that are opaque to the visable spectrum but transparent to IR and foilage)

I wouldn't rush out and buy an IR led unless you start IV lines with NV gear on your head - best bet is a really bright light source like a surefire 9P for children's arms - just be sure not to leave it on very long as the heat is uncomfortable.
 

reptiles

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Hi Doug,

I wouldn't expect a dual output LED with the specs I'd like ... I was thinking more of a fatter case with multiple LEDs and a rotary switch to select them individually.

I know medical personal (esp physicians) would love a blue LED (for eyes), a UV (for fungi, and forensic use), a well balanced white (for looking at throats) and a red or IR for starting IVs. Ok, so that's 4. I can wish, right?

A transilluminator is a high wattage, fan cooled bulb connected to a fiberoptic conduit with a red filter on the tip. It is typically used to shine light through a child's limb, in an effort to find a suitable vein. Due to the power requirements these are not used in the field but in the ER. Oddly enough, they don't work much better than a high intensity red LED.

Thanks for your interest,
=Mark

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> Mark, would it be best to have, IR/UV, UV/BLUE (assuming that a two color LED light can be mabe . But, of course if a *3* color light could be made, I take it you would want to have IR/UV/Blue, right?) in one light? Such a light would probably be very expensive, but, then again, for your purposes, that is a small price to pay! Oh, and what is a "transilluminator"?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

Harrkev

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I once had an internship with an engineering firm who was doing work for a medical company (now defunct). When I wasn't working on their CAT scan machine, I was researching putting together an IR source with a CCD camera which fed into a computer. The idea was to image a breast in the IR spectrum. Then, use some image processing software to sharpen the image and look for tumors.

As I said, the company is now DOA, and the idea never made it much past the idea phase. However, a prime ingredient in this was an IR camera.

The ONLY way that IR will help you is if whatever you are looking for will flouresce. However, I think that flourescence will ONLY go from a shorter to a longer wavelength. This means that you will go from IR to even longer IR -- useless.

Assuming that this is true, he only way that IR would help would be to carry an IR camera and display with you. This may help, would be too large and cumbersome for emergency use.
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
welcome Mark reptile!
ahh, a newbie brain for us to pick!
very interesting...could you tell me exactly what UV light you use for fungus? Would this identify and/or diagnose, mmm, say, yeast??? (not for me, but a friend of mine
wink.gif
) ...also, exactly what is the "high intensity red LED" you find as useful as the OR transilluminator? Sounds like it could come in handy...thanks!
cool.gif
 

ElektroLumens

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by reptiles:
Greetings,

This is my first visit here. I've been reading for hours trying to catch up.

I found this BB from a link from the ARC site.

I was wondering about the use of the infrared LED for "medical field use --finding veins, etc."

Can anyone explain how that works?

I'm a paramedic and often work with kids with really small, hard to locate veins ...getting an IV line is often challenging.

I've tried xenon flashlights, red LED lights as well as $400 line powered transilluminators with various degrees of success. I never tried an IR source and would really like to know more about that.

I already have a blue LED for use in examining eyes with floracine dye; a UV LED on order (for identifing fungi) so I'm reluctant to add yet another IR unit unless I know it works.

Don't you wish there was an LED light with selectable LEDs?

Anyway, thanks for any advice or suggestions. I will indeed check back and learn more from this BB. I already learned that I should have ordered from the "favorite distributors" rather than directly from ARC for better pricing
wink.gif


Regards,
Mark Miller
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mark,

I did a fair amount of research on this. There is a wealth of info on the internet if you search for it. Look for Infrared LED's, Infrared therapeutic treatment, etc.

I have read that the 660nm wavelength penetrates the skin up to 10mm. This stimulates the blood vessels and opens them, bringing more blood flow, and results in faster healing. They use this on the space shuttle. This is used in veterinary practice, especially with race horses who often become injured. This process is used to aid in healing, and also to strengthen the horses bones and ligaments.

Different frequencies penetrate deeper. I think it was in the 800-1000nm spectrum, it can reach to a depth of 30-40mm. Well, I would have to go back and look up the exact depths, but anyway, it penetrates deeper, to treat muscle damage, bones, etc. I am not a doctor so I won't say much more. You can read for yourself from various sources.

I will also add that I was developing a product, but when I found out I had to have FCC aproval to market such a product (duh!), I put it on the back burner. However, I purchased many infrared LED's of various frequencies, and built and tested a few desings. As I have arthritus, I tried it on a few sore joints. It is truly amazing as it indeed does reduce inflamation and take away the pain. (I'm not making this up.)

For skin injuries, the 660nm frequency is used, which is in the visble spectrum, as a deep red.

For illuminating veins? I don't know about that?
 

reptiles

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Thanks Ted and Wayne for the replies!

IR is fascinating and I hope more medical uses do surface. I know we already have pulse oximetry where an LED IR source is directed into a finger and some measurement of red blood cells is detected to yield the percentage of oxygen in the blood.

Regarding the questions above; I have used ARC and Infinity AAA and AA red units in the field for IV placement.

In the dark, the LED is directed against the skin (of the forearm) and veins adjacent to the light are visible.

I'm not sure of the UV frequency of the LEDs that I've used for tinia (skin fungus) but I can check and get back to you later.

It is especially good for testing kids with tinia in the scalp and ringworm (not a worm but a fungus.)

Sorry, unaware of any test for yeast.

Regards,
Mark
 

hank

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See <http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992525>

I'll paste it in, noting this is an example of their news coverage -- as a rave review and a very high recommendation for New Scientist and pointer to their web site (and their print publication.

=================
Light therapy tackles eye injuries
19:00 12 July 02 Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition

People blinded by light could be treated with more light. Researchers have found that shining near-infrared radiation on damaged retinal cells can keep them alive and prevent permanent blindness.

(Photo: Corbis Sygma)
(Photo: Corbis Sygma)
The US Defense Advance Research Projects Agency is funding research into the method and hopes to use it to treat people whose eyes are damaged by lasers. A number of US military personnel, including a helicopter pilot over Bosnia in 1998, have suffered laser eye injuries.

If the infrared technique works in people, it could be used to treat a wide range of eye injuries and diseases. And it does not stop there.

Other studies have shown that infrared light can help heal all sorts of injuries and sores, and it is already being used to treat severe mouth ulcers in children undergoing chemotherapy.


Cell powerhouses

In the late 1990s, lab studies on cells showed that near-infrared wavelengths can boost the activity of mitochondria, the crucial powerhouses in cells. That caught the attention of NASA, which hoped it could use the technique to treat astronauts in space, where injuries heal more slowly than on Earth, possibly because mitochondria do not function properly.

The treatment requires high-intensity light, but instead of lasers, NASA has developed powerful light-emitting diodes for the job. Lasers tend to damage cells, whereas LEDs can deliver light in a way that is less harmful to tissue (New Scientist magazine, 25 September 1999, p 20). Now Harry Whelan, a neurologist at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and his colleagues have put the LEDs to the test on eye injuries.

In a study that will appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Whelan blinded rats by giving them high doses of methanol, or wood alcohol. This is converted by the body into formic acid, a toxic chemical that inhibits the activity of mitochondria. Within hours, the rats' energy-hungry retinal cells and optic nerves began to die, and the animals went completely blind within one to two days.

But if the rats were treated with LED light with a wavelength of 670 nanometres for 105 seconds at 5, 25 and 50 hours after being dosed with methanol, they recovered 95 per cent of their sight. Remarkably, the retinas of these rats looked indistinguishable from those of normal rats. "There was some tissue regeneration, and neurons, axons and dendrites may also be reconnecting," says Whelan.


Painful sores

The results have raised the hope that the LED technique could be used to treat people for a range of eye diseases known to be caused by mitochondrial problems. Whelan also thinks it will help treat laser injuries to the retina, apart from areas where cells have been completely destroyed.

Whelan has already tested the LEDs on 30 children suffering from mucositis, a painful side effect of cancer chemotherapy. The children had painful sores in their mouths and throats and were unable to eat or drink, he says.

The LED treatment eliminated the mucositis and is now being used to prevent it. "It's a night and day difference in the children's floor," he says. The results appeared in the Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery in December last year. The Food and Drug Administration has now approved further trials in hospitals, which will use LEDs donated by NASA.

What is not yet clear is exactly how the light stimulates healing. But Britton Chance of the University of Pennsylvania has shown that about 50 per cent of the near-infrared light is absorbed by mitochondrial proteins called chromophores. Whelan and his colleagues think the light boosts the activity of a chromophore called cytochrome c oxidase, a key component of the energy-generating machinery.


Stephen Leahy

For more exclusive news and expert analysis every week subscribe to New Scientist print edition.
=============end of clip from www.newscientist.com======================
 

Free

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Wow! This is very interesting and I intend to look into this.

I have a degenerative retinal disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. My retinal cells are slowly dying and I am loosing my sight with end prognosis of blindness. There is currently no cure but this sounds like something that might hold hope for me and others with my disease.
 

Bushman

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I am a nurse practitioner and I don't know of any way to diagnose cutaneous candidasis (yeast) other than by clinical signs and culture or KOH prep. UV would not work here. However as stated above there are several fungi that do floresce under uv light and that is helpful...
 

Free

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I also would like to track down a 670NM IR led light. All of the IR Leds I have been finding are around 890nm.
 

hank

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I'm still scratching my head over this. I'll go look for an online way to search for this when it shows up in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and see if the New Scientist people have commented.

The earlier reports I remember did talk about using "red" LEDs in NASA research.
 

Free

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In the study mentioned above, the doctor used a 670nm IR LED. I am puzzled because a Red LED is 660nm and IR is generally closer to 900nm. So it seems that the light he used is really a lot closer to Red than IR.

I am thinking of trying a Red LED as therapy for my eye condition. I wouldn't think I could do any damage to my eyes with a simple red LED.

Anyone think I shouldn't do this
shocked.gif
 

hank

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There's another reference to medical use posted ("near-infrared" whatever that means!) in the General Flashlight forum on penlights for doctors:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=002443#000031

I wonder if the use of red LEDs is just because they're cheap and available and work, or whether anyone's tried nice bright white ones. Red works because red light penetrates deep and can trigger some drugs to be active only where illuminated.

But a nice bright white Stylus or Arc would be better for looking at, say, mouth or throat ulcers and it'd be nice if it'd also work to boost up the mitochondria and help with healing at the same time.
 

Willmore

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Funny to find this thread as I as just dreaming of making a 'full spectrum' LED flashlight witht he ability to change the output color--sort of like you can on the little Sauce LightWands.

This came about because I bought 6 UV (395nm) LEDs. Throw in some blues, greens, reds, and IR (various frequencies, if you have to), plus a microprocessor and a little power supply in a tube with some batteries and one could make a fairly useful tool for the medical/scientific industry, right?

I was picturing something like one of those lights they use to stare into your ears and throat, you know the ones that are about 2C cell in size and emit light at a right angle from the top?
 

Albany Tom

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I'm reading this thread again, and am wondering if anybody has looked into red light to reduce hair loss. This may sound like a really goofy thing, but who knows. Someone could be marketing an LED hat...
 
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