- Health & Science
Carbon dioxide for new life. IR analysis for monitoring fertile days
In no time at all, couples can find out if their wish to have a child can come true. The so-called digital ovulation test makes it possible, without relying on conventional means. This is based on IR respiratory gas analysis and can quickly and easily provide information about which days a woman is most fertile., Maxi Seifert
Just one minute to find out whether the wish to have a child can come true, without having to use a thermometer or a test stick? This can now be done using a digital ovulation test, also called "fertility tracker" for women. It is very easy to use compared to conventional test methods, as the user only has to breathe into a device for one minute, which then measures the carbon dioxide in her breath.
This method works, as the composition of the respiratory gas and the concentration of the carbon dioxide it contains changes depending on hormone levels and can deliver exciting information on current fertility.
Measurements such as this are only possible thanks to photonics and optical technologies; more precisely by applying the principle of light absorption using infrared (IR) radiation. This is because infrared radiation makes carbon dioxide detectable in respiratory gas. One thing that makes these measurements possible is very fine optical IR filters, developed and manufactured by Jenoptik. These tiny super talents only allow the infrared portion of light to pass through, making it possible to analyze the amount of carbon dioxide in the respiration.
Why can infrared light "reveal" carbon dioxide?
Some gases, carbon dioxide being one of them, have the characteristic of absorbing infrared radiation. Looking at our user example, this means: if the respiratory gas is radiated with infrared light, the carbon dioxide molecules it contains absorb a portion of the infrared light. If the percentage of carbon dioxide is low, this means a high transmission rate of the absorption wavelength. Conversely, a low transmission rate indicates a high concentration of carbon dioxide.
The amount of carbon dioxide in respiration generally decreases on fertile days. For the measurement, this means that the optical filter lets through more infrared light, which is then measured by the sensor. The results of the measurement are evaluated by the corresponding software algorithm and displayed to the user in a smart phone app.
Carbon dioxide and its positive sides
The principle of light absorption is not only used in respiratory gas analyzers, but also in other areas relevant to industry and safety. For example, firefighters using suitable devices can recognize in good time whether they are facing a dangerous situation without having to enter the danger zone.
These types of gas measurements can be used to cleverly control air using air conditioners e.g. in vehicles, factories and also in agriculture for regulating the growth processes in greenhouses. They are used in the chemical industry to monitor maximum gas or carbon dioxide concentrations to avoid dangerous situations. Climate researchers can determine the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Optics is what makes it possible
The quality of the coating is particularly important as the coating of the optics is decisive for their application – filtering infrared wavelengths, for example. The advantages of IR filters from Jenoptik is their high transmission, reliability and long service life.This is because a great deal of experience, technical expertise and high-quality materials is invested in the infrared coating – which can consist of as many as 100 layers – manufactured by Jenoptik.Find out more in an interview with our experts "The coating is decisive".
About Maxi Seifert
As the key account manager, Maxi Seifert is the contact person for optical components and optical coatings. She is fascinated by the extreme precision of our optics and their versatility in the areas of life in which they are used. She is proud of her colleagues, their specialist expertise, experience and commitment, which is what makes the production of these optics possible.