Partial Wave Spectroscopic Microscopy

A team of researchers led by Vadim Backman, professor of biomedical engineering of the Northwestern University, has developed a way to examine cell biopsies and detect never before seen signs of early-stage pancreatic cancer, according to a new paper published online by the OSA journal Optics Letters. The new technique, called „partial wave spectroscopic microscopy“ detects fluctuations in the cells‘ refractive index (an optical property that measure how cells bend light passing through them). These fluctuations are influenced by nanoscopic changes to the cells‘ interior architecture that often occur much earlier than the changes pathologists can detect under their microscopes. The more architectural disorder there is inside the cell, the more the refractive index fluctuates. The researchers showed that by quantifying these fluctuations, partial wave microscopy could identify cancer cells even in cases where they had not been detected by pathologists. Now, the partial wave spectroscopic microscopy has to prove effective in double-blind clinical trails.
www.northwestern.edu

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