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Optical Filters Used in Medical Instruments

medical filter


Point of Care (PoC) instruments have various uses in medical diagnostics, including the detection of infectious diseases, testing haemoglobin levels and monitoring blood glucose levels. They are a popular choice for these types of tests as they only require a single drop of blood, saliva, or urine and can be performed by a GP within minutes.

These types of tests require absorbance, fluorescence, chemiluminescence or Raman detection methods, which all demand an optical filter. The optical filter is considered to be one of the most important components of a PoC instrument. It is used to attenuate unwanted light and allow wanted light to pass through, so the choice of the correct optical filter can help to optimize the device performance.

PoC instruments are shrinking to keep up with the continuous advancements in the medical industry. Smaller PoC instruments are required in order to make the equipment easier to transport and could potentially open the door to wearable diagnostics in the future. The newer, smaller PoC instruments still have to match, if not surpass, the quality of existing, larger instruments, and an effective optical filter can help to achieve this.

PoC instruments require smaller optical filters as standard, but as the instruments shrink the filters need to be even smaller, and these smaller filters previously presented a challenge of attaining this level of quality. However, technological development is now starting to realise the quality required for successful optical filters. The development of all-dielectric ultra-hard coatings for optical bandpass filters was hugely beneficial as the coatings are stable for over 10 years. These coatings also provide the highest level of spectral discrimination.

Honour Optics are able to supply small custom optical filters for PoC instruments, which come with specialized designs to reduce the effects of large angles found in PoC instruments and polarization splitting. Our ultra-hard coated filters are suitable for applications in varied environments, as they do not alter in performance over time or in different conditions.

Our optical filters are all designed for the next generation of PoC instruments and they have been used in clinical applications in the biotech, biomedical and drug discovery sectors.

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