Science

Infrared enabling eye injection will give solders night time SUPER VISION

Infrared enabling eye injection will give solders night time SUPER VISION”

The mice were put through a battery of tests which found that they could recognize infrared patterns while exposed to daylight and also perceived infrared light and visible light in a similar manner.

"When light enters the eye and hits the retina, the rods and cones - or photoreceptor cells - absorb the photons with visible light wavelengths and send corresponding electric signals to the brain", said study author Gang Han in a statement.

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology, China, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass) in the U.S., injected the rodents' eyes with a solution filled with nanoparticles.

Scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Science and Technology of China have reportedly teamed up and developed technology that gives the ability of night vision to the mammal eye, allowing it to see beyond the visible spectrum and into the infrared region.

The study published in Cell tested the nanoparticles in mice which, like humans, can not see infrared naturally.

It is known that the human eye can see only lights with wavelengths in the range of 400 and 700 nanometers among the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

"In our experiment, nanoparticles absorbed infrared light around 980 nm in wavelength and converted it into light peaked at 535 nm, which made the infrared light appear as the color green", said Jin Bao, coauthor of the paper and an associate professor at the University of Science and Technology.

Nanoparticles (white) bind to rods and cones in the retina of mice, allowing the rodents to sense infrared.

Illustration of the infrared-to-visible-light conversion process. When infrared light hits the retina, the longer infrared wavelengths are re-emitted into shorter wavelengths within the visible light range. The closest rod or cone then absorbed that wavelength and zapped it to the brain.

To prove their findings, the scientists dilated the modified mice's pupils and exposed them to near-infrared light and then measured their electrical brain activity.

The scientific breakthrough might mean that one day humans, too, will be able to detect near-infrared.

In rare cases, side effects from the injections such as cloudy corneas occurred but disappeared within less than a week.

The researchers believe the bio-integrated nanoparticles are more desirable for potential infrared applications in civilian encryption, security and military operations.

The researchers outline that they found no evidence of damage to the mice's eyes as a result of the experiment.

"With this research, we've broadly expanded the applications of our nanoparticle technology both in the lab and translationally", said Han.



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