If our eyes were able to catchinfrared radiation, we could easily distinguish any objects in the dark. The fact is that infrared light comes from almost all objects around us, but their waves are so long that the photoreceptors of mammalian eyes simply cannot catch them. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have developed nanoparticles that can serve as tiny sensors to capture infrared rays and give people and animals night vision.
Getting on the eyes, these nanoparticles are in the form of dropsdelivered to retinal photoreceptors and attached to them. Being on the cells of the retina, nanoparticles capture long infrared rays and emit short waves in the visible range. These waves are absorbed by photoreceptors, which send such signals to the brain as they would be if visible light hit the retina.
The effectiveness of the nanoparticles was tested duringexperimenting with mice. Having received a dose of nanoparticles, the photoreceptors of the eyes of mice began to shorten infrared waves with a length of 980 nm to 535 nm. At the same time, infrared light gained a green tint. Due to this effect, laboratory mice were able to pass the maze with obstacles in complete darkness and even with good lighting without any problems.
The only side effect was clouding of the cornea, but it passed in about a week. The very ability to see in the dark persisted for ten weeks.
It is believed that the new development willused in the course of creating new military technologies. Undoubtedly, it will find application in medicine - having gained new knowledge, scientists hope to find an effective way to treat color blindness.
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