Washington, District of Columbia 2021-06-11 10:39:51 –
June 11, 2021
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a method for identifying potentially harmful bacteria in the skin and mouth using images taken from smartphones. Their approach is paper Visually identify skin microbes that contribute to delayed acne and wound healing, as well as oral bacteria that can cause periodontitis and plaque, published in the May issue of Optics and Lasers in Engineering. ..
Team — led King Louis Can, Professor of Bioengineering and Ophthalmology, University of Washington — Combining smartphone case changes and image processing methods to illuminate bacteria in images taken with traditional smartphone cameras. This approach has created a relatively low-cost, rapid method that can be used at home to assess the presence of potentially harmful bacteria in the skin and oral cavity.
“Bacteria in the skin and mouth can have a wide range of effects on our health, from rotting teeth to slowing wound healing,” Wang said. “Smartphones are so widely used that we wanted to develop a cost-effective and easy tool that people could use to learn about bacteria in the skin and mouth.”
Bacteria are hard to see in images from conventional smartphones. Wang said the smartphone camera is an “RGB camera.” They essentially inject light of all different wavelengths in the visual spectrum into three different colors: red, green and blue. Every pixel in an image generated by a smartphone is a combination of these colors. However, bacteria emit many colors other than red, green, and blue that typical smartphone cameras miss.
Wang’s team enhanced the smartphone camera by installing a small 3D print ring containing 10 LED black lights around the camera opening in the smartphone case. Researchers used LED-enhanced smartphones to take images of the oral cavity and skin of the faces of the two subjects.
“LED lights” excite “a class of bacteria-derived molecules called porphyrins that emit a red fluorescent signal that can be picked up by smartphone cameras,” said the lead author, a UW PhD student in bioengineering. Said Qinghua He.
Other components in the image (proteins and oily molecules produced by our body, skin, teeth, gums, etc.) do not glow red under the LED. They will fluoresce in other colors, he added.
Many bacteria produce porphyrins as a by-product of growth and metabolism. According to co-author Yuandong Li, a postdoctoral fellow in bioengineering at the University of Washington, porphyrins can accumulate in the skin and in the mouth, which is rich in bacteria.
“In general, for example, the more porphyrins found on the surface of the skin, the greater the difficulty found in wound healing and acne,” says Li.
LED lighting provided the team with enough visual information to computationally “convert” the RGB colors from images obtained from smartphones to other wavelengths in the visual spectrum. This produces a “pseudo-multispectral” image consisting of 15 different sections of the visual spectrum instead of the three in the original RGB image. To get this visual information in advance, Wang said he needed an expensive and tedious light instead of using a relatively inexpensive LED black light.
Due to the high degree of visual discrimination, pseudo-multispectral images clearly degraded porphyrin clusters in the skin and oral cavity. In addition, they adjusted this method to display porphyrins, but researchers were able to modify the image analysis pipeline to detect the characteristics of other bacteria that fluoresce even under LEDs. ..
“That’s the beauty of this technique. You can see different components at the same time,” Wang said. “If the bacterium is producing another by-product that you want to detect, you can look for it using the same image, which is not possible today with traditional image systems.”
The success of this first study could form the basis of a new home method for assessing basic skin and oral health, the researchers said. For example, provide users with information about whether they need to see a dentist or consult a particular type of doctor. Skin condition. Their visual system and image analysis pipeline can also help identify bacteria that are potentially problematic in other medical situations, such as wound healing in other parts of the body.
“There are many directions we can go here,” said the king. “Our body is a complex environment and this approach has great potential to investigate many types of problems.”
Additional co-authors were Zhiyuan Sun, a visiting scholar at the University of Washington, and Wendy Wang, an undergraduate researcher. This study was funded by the Washington Research Foundation.
Contact Wang for more information. email@example.com..
Smartphone camera can illuminate bacteria causing acne, dental plaques Source link Smartphone camera can illuminate bacteria causing acne, dental plaques