The Sound of Light

Juli 1, 2009

Together with his research team, Professor Vasilis Ntziachristos from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany and the Technical University Munich, Germany developed a new technology to make light audible. The technique, called multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography (MSOT), combines light and ultrasound to visualize fluorescent proteins that are seated several centimeters deep into living tissue.
The researchers used a genetically modified adult zebra fish which carried fluorescent pigments in its tissue. They illuminated the fish from multiple angles using flashes of laser light that are absorbed by the fluorescent pigments in the fish. The pigments absorb the light, a process that causes slight local increases of temperature, which in turn result in tiny local volume expansions. This happens very quickly and creates small shock waves. In effect, the short laser pulse gives rise to an ultrasound wave that the researchers pick up with an ultrasound microphone. To analyze the resulting acoustic patterns, a computer is attached. The computer uses specially developed mathematical formulas to evaluate and interpret the specific distortions caused by scales, muscles, bones and internal organs to generate a three-dimensional image. In the future this technology may facilitate the examination of tumors or coronary vessels in humans.
www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en

Multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography or MSOT allows the investigation of subcellular processes in live organisms.

Multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography or MSOT allows the investigation of subcellular processes in live organisms.

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Live Cell Imaging at Double the Resolution

Mai 6, 2009

A team of researchers of the University of Georgia (UGA) and the University of California, San Francisco, US has developed a microscope that is capable of live imaging at double the resolution of fluorescence microscopy by using structured illumination. The research was published in Nature Methods on April 26, 2009. “What we’ve done is develop a much faster system that allows you to look at live cells expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is a very powerful tool for labeling inside the cell,” explained UGA engineer Peter Kner.
www.engineering.uga.edu