Medical imaging breakthrough may lead to early cancer detection

Jan 13, 2014 by Meghan Lodwick

(Phys.org) —A breakthrough technique for super-resolution 3D medical imaging of living cells has been developed by researchers at Swinburne University of Technology.

The new potentially could aid in minimally-invasive surgery and the early detection of cancer.

The researchers, Professor Min Gu, Dr Xiangping Li and Dr Hong Kang, applied a technique announced last year, enabling three-dimensional optical beam lithography at nine nanometres, to two-photon fluorescence endo-microscopy.

Two-photon fluorescence endo-microscopy is a powerful technique for non-invasive, high-resolution imaging of biological tissue.

Using this technique, they have for the first time demonstrated that greater image definition can be achieved with a two-photon probe using a special donut-shaped beam generated from a double-clad optical fibre.

"Until now, for 5 mm probe imaging has been very poor, making it impossible to obtain sub-wavelength details of organs that can provide information for early diagnosis of diseases," Director of Swinburne's Centre for Micro Photonics, Professor Gu, said.

"We have now been able to demonstrate an image resolution of 310 nanometres for the endoscopic probe where the numerical aperture is 0.35."

Professor Gu said this achievement paves the way for further high-resolution medical studies.

"At this resolution it should be possible to reveal the internal structures of goblet cells, which are glandular epithelial cells found in the lining of the digestive and respiratory tracts.

"Theoretically, we should be able to achieve a 75 nanometre image resolution, but this needs to be confirmed by further studies."

Professor Gu said the technique has potential uses for brain imaging, early cancer detection and minimally invasive surgical procedures as well as the development of new tests for drugs and other treatments.

The research is published in the latest edition of Scientific Reports.

Explore further: Graphene-based discs ensure safe storage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Three-photon microscopy improves biological imaging

Jan 22, 2013

(Phys.org)—Scientists may be a step closer to cracking one of the world's most compelling mysteries: the impossible complexity of the brain and its billions of neurons. Cornell researchers have demonstrated ...

Graphene-based discs ensure safe storage

Oct 03, 2013

(Phys.org) —Swinburne University of Technology researchers have shown the potential of a new material for transforming secure optical information storage.

Helium raises resolution of whole cell imaging

Oct 03, 2011

The ability to obtain an accurate three-dimensional image of an intact cell is critical for unraveling the mysteries of cellular structure and function. However, for many years, tiny structures buried deep inside cells have ...

Heart-shaped nano beads

Feb 14, 2013

(Phys.org)—Biotechnologists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) specialise in the measurement of biomolecules in solution, at interfaces and in cells and tissues. They examine the benefits and limitations ...

Recommended for you

IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

25 minutes ago

Who will lay claim to having the world's largest particle smasher?. Could China become the collider capital of the world? Questions tease answers, following a news story in Nature on Tuesday. Proposals for ...

The physics of lead guitar playing

1 hour ago

String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King.

The birth of topological spintronics

2 hours ago

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn S ...

The electric slide dance of DNA knots

6 hours ago

DNA has the nasty habit of getting tangled and forming knots. Scientists study these knots to understand their function and learn how to disentangle them (e.g. useful for gene sequencing techniques). Cristian ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rockwolf1000
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2014
"We have now been able to demonstrate an image resolution of 310 nanometres for the endoscopic probe where the numerical aperture is 0.35."

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

And the machine is 2.5 cubits tall and weighs four stone.