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  • Doug Cook

A New Use for a Sonic Screwdriver

Fans of Doctor Who would recognize the gadget below.  It’s a Sonic Screwdriver.  I got one through the BBCAmerica shop website for $24.98.

What drew my attention is a mention that the light emits UV and blue wavelengths.  Eye doctors use cobalt blue filtes or blue / UV led’s with a fluorescent dye called fluorescein.  It glows fluorescent to help us spot scratches, ulcers, dry spots and other conditions on the cornea of the eye.

I decided to compare the sonic to a Bluminator, a handheld blue-light emitting gadget specifically designed for opthalmic use.  I painted a piece of paper with fluorescein dye from a standard test strip.

The bluminator on the left projects a more intense beam which overexposes the image a little bit.  The Sonic Screwdriver on the right did just as good a job at making the dye fluoresce.

So the Sonic Screwdriver could be considered  a cool gadget to help break down the fear factor of folks scared of the idea of fluorescein administration. Comments on the results such as “Weebly – Woobly, Timey – Wimey” are optional.

Oh and being the ultimate multipurpose science fiction gadget, this one includes a pen on the opposite end to write down my findings.  And technically, could it be written off as a business expense?  This isn’t an FDA approved device for medical use but it still reinforces that “Sonics are cool…”

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