At the core of EUPHORIA is the MSOT (Multi-Spectral Optoacoustic Tomography) technology. MSOT, like X-Ray or MRI, allows the operator to ‘see inside’ a human body, or a lab animal, or indeed other things. Rather than using X-Ray radiation, or magnetic resonance, MSOT takes advantage of an entirely different phenomenon – the photoacoustic effect. This effect occurs when a tissue of interest, such as the bowel wall, is illuminated by laser pulses, which has a wavelength that allows it to penetrate the skin. Blood molecules within in the tissue absorb light energy; this causes a small (too small for the patient to feel) expansion of the tissue, which in turn causes tiny pressure waves, i.e. this generates ultrasound waves. These are detected using a sensitive ultrasound detector.
Different molecules in the tissue respond in different ways to different light wavelengths. When recording the ultrasound signals generated after illumination with different wavelength (i.e. multi-spectral illumination), intelligent software can distinguish the molecular composition of the tissue. A particular advantage of MSOT is that it detects blood, blood oxygenation, fat, collagen and other substances that other technologies cannot ‘see’, and so offers new perspectives, and new ways to see inside the body.