The Minerva project
Professor A. B. Seddon, Prof T. M. Benson, Dr S. Sujecki, Dr Z. Tang, Dr D. Furniss
The MINERVA (mid to near infrared spectroscopy for improved medical diagnostics) project is funded with €7.3m under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-ICT) and runs from November 2012 until October 2016. The overall project cost €10.6m. It brings together thirteen partners from across Europe with the common objective of developing mid-infrared (mid-IR) technology to improve the early diagnosis of cancer.
The MINERVA mid-IR range (1.5 to 12 μm) is rich in spectroscopic absorption of biomolecules such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates. In particular it has been shown that, by using the latest data analysis techniques, this spectral region can be used to identify the presence of early cancer. Currently there is a lack of practical sources and components for this spectral region, and so these mid-IR diagnostic techniques are restricted to laboratory demonstrations.
MINERVA aims to develop fibre, lasers and broadband sources, components, modulators and detectors to access this important part of the spectrum. In parallel it will identify analytical techniques using the new photonic hardware to improve early skin cancer diagnosis and the rapid and automatic assessment of biopsy samples using a microscope.
For more information, please visit the MINERVA project website.