The benefit of early cancer detection is driving researchers at Montana State University in Bozeman to develop new technologies. Under the supervision of Dr. David L. Dickensheets, these scientists are exploring new frontiers in optoelectronics — the application of devices that source, detect and control light (1). Their goal is the development of electron scanning technology that will give doctors the ability to create subdermal images for cancer detection and other applications.
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Several laboratories in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are dedicated to this pursuit. Researchers employ micromachined 4mm mirrors (known as MEMS deformable mirrors) to enable reliable imaging of a complex object such as human skin. These imaging systems are highly sensitive, and thus susceptible to contamination by foreign particles that land on the lenses and create imaging blemishes.
A dust and particle-free environment for research
To protect the quality and integrity of the imaging produced in the labs, researchers depend on IQAir top-rated air purifiers to continually filter particles from the air.
"Our devices are so sensitive that a single piece of dust affects the results,” says Dickensheets. "IQAir technology supports our progress by providing a clean and stable testing environment, and by reducing downtime for maintenance and cleaning."
Each lab uses an IQAir HealthPro Compact air purifier. The IQAir systems provide a steady supply of medical-grade air that is free of more than 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter or larger.
System downtime reduced
"In addition to improving optical and imaging quality, high-performance air filtration in the labs has helped reduce system maintenance and downtime,” says research assistant Warren Foster.
This painstaking task occupies the time of several researchers and sometimes requires the optoelectrical system to be shut down for days.
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"The presence of clean air in the lab allows our researchers to spend less time cleaning optical imperfections and more time reducing the distance towards life-saving results,” says Foster.
Sensitive, precision lab research requires the cleanest possible air. As Montana State University researchers found, high-performance air filtration is an essential component in upholding rigorous standards for cancer detection in their clean air facility.