Researchers at The University of Nottingham have developed a break-through technique that uses sound rather than light to see inside live cells, with potential application in stem-cell transplants and cancer diagnosis.
The new nanoscale ultrasound technique uses shorter-than-optical wavelengths of sound and could even rival the optical super-resolution techniques which won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
This new kind of sub-optical phonon (sound) imaging provides invaluable information about the structure, mechanical properties and behaviour of individual living cells at a scale not achieved before.
Researchers from the Optics and Photonics group in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, are behind the discovery, which is published in the paper ‘High resolution 3D imaging of living cells with sub-optical wavelength phonons’ in the journal, Scientific Reports.
“People are most familiar with ultrasound as a way of looking inside the body — in the simplest terms we’ve engineered it to the point where it can look inside an individual cell. Nottingham is currently the only place in the world with this capability,” said Professor Matt Clark, who contributed to the study.
In conventional optical microscopy, which uses light (photons), the size of the smallest object you can see (or the resolution) is limited by the wavelength.
For biological specimens, the wavelength cannot go smaller than that of blue light because the energy carried on photons of light in the ultraviolet (and shorter wavelengths) is so high it can destroy the bonds that hold biological molecules together damaging the cells.
Optical super-resolution imaging also has distinct limitations in biological studies. This is because the fluorescent dyes it uses are often toxic and it requires huge amounts of light and time to observe and reconstruct an image which is damaging to cells.
Unlike light, sound does not have a high-energy payload. This has enabled the Nottingham researchers to use smaller wavelengths and see smaller things and get to higher resolutions without damaging the cell biology.
“A great thing is that, like ultrasound on the body, ultrasound in the cells causes no damage and requires no toxic chemicals to work. Because of this we can see inside cells that one day might be put back into the body, for instance as stem-cell transplants,” adds Professor Clark.
Receive an email update when we add a new ULTRASOUND article.
The Latest on: Nanoscale ultrasound
via Google News
The Latest on: Nanoscale ultrasound
- Visualization of the Stimuli-responsive Surface Behavior of Functionalized Wood Material by Chemical Force Microscopyon December 6, 2019 at 2:24 am
We therefore present an approach for characterizing functionalized wood materials at the nanoscale, which should fill the gap in the wood characterization techniques regarding high-resolution imaging ...
- Mechanisms of Ferroelectric Switching Identified by Neural Network Techniqueon December 5, 2019 at 11:01 pm
Improvements in imaging techniques have made it possible to collect mounds of data about the ... “Only an infinitesimally small fraction of the data collected is translated into knowledge.” Agar ...
- Kanazawa University Research: Imaging Technique Gives Catalytic 2D Material Engineering a Better Viewon December 4, 2019 at 2:08 am
KANAZAWA, Japan, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A scanning electrochemical cell imaging technique shows how nanoscale structural features affect the catalytic activity of MoS 2 monolayers for hydrogen ...
- Mass-producible, centimeter-scale metalens for VR, imagingon December 3, 2019 at 1:05 pm
The technique can produce many metalenses per chip, each made of millions of nanoscale elements with a single shot of exposure ... "Mass-producible, centimeter-scale metalens for VR, imaging." ...
- Imaging technique gives catalytic 2D material engineering a better viewon December 3, 2019 at 11:32 am
A scanning electrochemical cell imaging technique shows how nanoscale structural features affect the catalytic activity of MoS2 monolayers for hydrogen evolution reactions, report researchers. The ...
- Researchers develop a mass-producible, centimeter-scale metalens for VR, imagingon December 3, 2019 at 10:17 am
While lenses this size work well for some applications, a larger lens is needed for low-light conditions, such as an imaging system onboard orbital satellites ... The technique can produce many ...
- High-Def Help: How TVs Could Help Us Learn About the Brainon November 30, 2019 at 7:55 am
Nanoscale tools, such as quantum dots, that can capture the nuance in complicated cell activities hold promise as brain-imaging tools or drug delivery carriers for the brain. But because there are ...
- Super-resolution Imaging Technologies Markets in Life Science, 2024on November 27, 2019 at 4:04 pm
This report provides an overview of the super-resolution imaging technologies in life science sector to evaluate cells at the nanoscale level Super-resolution imaging (SRI), which is also known as ...
- Study paves way to better understanding, treatment of arthritison November 25, 2019 at 10:26 am
the Research Complex at Harwell and the Diamond Light Source developed a way to conduct nanoscale imaging of complete bones and whole joints under precisely controlled loads. To do that, they had to ...
via Bing News