Nature has served as an inspiration for novel, efficient and economic designs in architecture, engineering and science in general. In this talk, I will describe two bio-inspired imaging sensor designs and their use in providing real-time feedback to physicians in the operating room as well as in passive underwater geo-localization applications. The first sensor replicates the visual system of mantis shrimp by combining advancements in nanotechnology and semiconductor photodetectors. The sensor captures color and polarization properties of light in real-time and with high resolution. This unique sensor is currently deployed in the Great Barrier Reef to study marine life behavior in their natural habitat and to better understand environmental changes in the reef.
The second sensory system is based on the juvenile mantis shrimp visual system to realize a compact fluorescence imaging device. This imaging system employs tapetal spectral filters, i.e. stacks of nano-metric layers, with vertically stacked photodetectors to sense color and multiple NIR channels simultaneously. The bio-inspired sensor is integrated with wearable goggles and used for tracking sentinel lymph node in patients with breast cancer. Pre-clinical and clinical data will be presented in this talk.