Among the many research projects conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia, those of Professor Justin Marshall are of particular interest to us. It concerns the faculties of the 'famous' mantis shrimp or 'multicoloured squid' (Odontodactylus scyllarus). An animal with Herculean strength, it is found in the Indian Ocean and in the western part of the Pacific Ocean.
Studied for the manufacture of ultra-resistant materials, this mantis shrimp is also the subject of interest to researchers for its amazing eyes. These are composed of ommatidia, which are themselves made up of photoreceptor cells with fine cell extensions, microvilli, that can filter polarised light. Polarised light is light that vibrates in one direction only. Filtering it makes it possible to better detect contrasts (think of the filters on cameras or sunglasses), but also... cancers! Cancers reflect polarised light differently than healthy tissue.
This property inspired Justin Marshall and his colleagues at the University of Queensland in Australia to build a camera that detects tumours, something our visual system is normally unable to do. Here, the camera converts images that are invisible to us into colours that we can perceive.
The board Biomim'review :
QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY / 5 DEC 2014 / Nature's elegant and efficient vision systems can detect cancer
THE VISION HOUSE / 9 MAR 2015 / THE EYES OF THE SQUILLA INSPIRE CANCER RESEARCH!
GENT SIDE / 23 MAY 2019 / The mantis shrimp, a crustacean with a completely unique visual perception
HUFFPOST / 29 SEP 2014 / Cancer detection at a glance? Scientists reproduce the eyes of the mantis shrimp, which can do this
But also :
SCIENCE AND FUTURE / 03 JUL 2014 / See life in UV, like the mantis shrimp
FUTURA TECH / 31 OCT 2009 / Will the squilla, a marine crustacean, help to read DVDs better?
Professor Justin Marshall
Professorial Research Fellow
+61 7 336 51397