Early results from the NeuroSIPE programme 'Beyond Pain' project, in research funded by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW, demonstrate how a FLIR SC5600 thermal imaging camera has been used as an effective, non-invasive tool for monitoring of pain processing in the central nervous system of patients suffering from small fiber neuropathy.
Small fiber neuropathy (SFN) is a sensory neuropathy that affects small fibers and their functions. Currently there is not a gold standard for the diagnosis of SFN. While skin biopsy provides an assessment of intra-epidermal nerve fiber density, the technique is invasive, labour-intensive and has limited accuracy. The goal of the 'Beyond Pain' project is to develop a technique that enables quantitative and non-invasive diagnosis of SFN.
SFN is known to affect the local vasomotor response of skin. Using a method developed by 'Beyond Pain' project researchers a subjects skin is locally heated up to a maximum of 42 C with an infrared lamp. The thermal response of the skin is evaluated based on two signals: local skin blood flow, measured with laser Doppler flowmetry and local skin temperature, measured with a thermography camera (FLIR SC5600). The first results on healthy volunteers demonstrate that the regulation of skin temperature can be assessed with the new technique.
FLIR SC-Series thermal imaging cameras are used for capturing and recording thermal distribution and variations in real-time, allowing researchers to see and accurately measure heat patterns, dissipation, leakage, and other temperature factors in equipment, products and processes. These cameras can distinguish temperature changes as subtle as 0.02°C. They feature state-of-the-art detector technology and advanced mathematical algorithms for high performance and precise measurements from -80°C to +3000°C. The SC-Series R&D camera range combine extremely high imaging performance and precise temperature measurements, with powerful tools and software for analysing and reporting.