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Skin to Skin: Sensing Age Through Light

Christopher Yip of the University of Toronto in Canada will test whether measuring skin thickness and cellular composition by non-invasive diffuse optical spectroscopy can be used to estimate the gestational age of newborns, which is important for maternal and child health. They will first determine how light absorption and scattering properties of skin tissue at differing depths correlate with skin structure and then apply their approach to neonates of defined ages. They will also develop relevant hardware and software strategies to translate the selected optical properties into gestational age, and plan to build a low-cost and portable spectroscopy device. In the future, this device could be configured to detect other disease-related biomarkers such as hydration levels.

More information about Explore New Ways to Measure Brain Development and Gestational Age (Round 14)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.