Mantis Shrimp Eyes Help Refine Cancer Detection Techniques

Although not true shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, like their delectable namesake, are yet another sea creature with the potential to help people live longer, healthier lives. While shrimp are a nutrient-packed addition to our healthy diets, Mantis Shrimp are offering scientist exciting new insights into developing life-saving technologies.


In a project funded by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development, and the Australian Research Council, researchers at the University of Queensland are working closely with scientists in the US and UK to adapt elements of the Mantis Shrimp’s compound eye into a camera.

The camera would mimic the Mantis Shrimp’s ability to differentiate between objects using polarized light, which is reflected differently by cancerous tissue than the healthy tissue by which it is surrounded.

Although polarized light is already in use for cancer detection, a better understanding of the ways in which Mantis Shrimps’ eyes process light will help researchers further develop these technologies, thereby reducing and potentially eliminating the need for invasive detection procedures, like biopsies.


Pirolini, Alessandro. “Researchers Develop Shrimp-Inspired Cancer Detecting Technology.”, AZoNetwork. September 24, 2014. Web. September 2014.