Cancer Research News: Nottingham Researchers Discover A Breakthrough

By Kristen Hortaleza , Dec 29, 2016 12:34 PM EST

A breakthrough in cancer research has once again been discovered by The University of Nottingham researchers. They have come up with a technique that utilizes sound instead of light to see within live cells, making cancer diagnosis and stem cell transplants easier than ever.

Traditional optical microscopy utilizes light photons to see them in their smallest sizes or in limited wavelengths. Take into example biological specimens, the wavelength cannot go beyond the blue light as the energy found in the photons are so high it can damage the cells when pushed further.

As for optical super-resolution imaging, it is also limited because of the toxicity of fluorescent dyes and the demand for time to be used in observation as it can be damaging to the cells as well. But as per Nottingham Post, the breakthrough discovered functions differently.

"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," Professor Matt Clark said.

Reliawire explains that the new Nano scale ultrasound technique utilizes sound with shorter wavelengths than optical. It could also rival the super-fluorescence microscopy in the field of cancer research.

The paper entitled "High resolution 3D imaging of living cells with sub-optical wavelength phonons" is published in the journal called Scientific Reports. The research has been acknowledged by Judy Naake, chairman of a Nottingham City Hospital-based service that provides professional support to cancer patients.

She states that the current statistics say that one in two people will be affected by cancer and anything that helps to stop that from happening is amazing. While Dr. Emma Smith, manager of the Cancer Research UK says that this advances in imaging technology can help scientists unravel the inner workings of cancer cells to a greater level of precision and detail possible.

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