Hair-sized probe developed to help measure lung damage

A hair-sized probe has been developed by scientists to help measure tissue damage deep in the lung.

It is hoped the new technology could help reach areas where existing methods cannot provide accurate monitoring.

The probe comprises an optical fibre about 0.2mm in diameter, with 19 sensors that can measure different indicators in tissue such as acidity and oxygen levels.

Researchers say the technology could be used in other parts of the body, with flexibility to add more sensors.

Dr Michael Tanner, a proteus research fellow at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, said: “This research is a great example of collaboration across disciplines to tackle healthcare challenges.

“These new methods, if taken to clinic, will lead to novel insights in disease biology.

“Our aim now is to expand the number of unique sensors on this miniaturised platform to provide even more information.”