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Cancer Cells Viewed in 3D – CT-Cell Microscope

Posted Feb 10 2009 11:28am

More new technology to help diagnose cancer cells.  The microscope that can use both traditional and fluorescent stains, which is a first.  The error rate for detection was reduced by a third from those using the technique.  image

Also, it can also allow for the detection of pre-cancer cells, which I consider to potentially have a big impact as far as early detection goes.  It is still under investigation use and not yet approved by the FDA.  BD 

“VisionGate’s Cell-CT platform produces high resolution 3D information for automated analysis of intact cells. Cells are injected into a capillary tube that rotates to allow image capture at multiple viewing angles to compute the internal 3D structure, thus enabling spatially defined densitometry of labeled molecular species and nuclear chromatin.”

“The patient is immobile while the X-ray machine rotates. In the Cell-CT microscope, each cell is embedded in a special gel inside a glass tube that rotates in front of a fixed camera that takes many pictures per rotation. The gel has similar optical properties to the tube's so that no light reflects off the glass. In both processes, the end result is that hundreds of pictures are assembled to form a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated on a computer screen.”

University of Washington researchers have helped develop a new kind of microscope to visualize cells in three dimensions, an advance  that could bring great progress in the field of early cancer detection. The technique could also bridge a widening gap between cutting-edge imaging techniques used in research and clinical practices, researchers said.

Eric Seibel, a UW mechanical engineering associate professor, and his colleagues have worked in collaboration with VisionGate, Inc., a privately held company in Gig Harbor, Wash., that holds the patents on the technology. The machine works by rotating the cell under the microscope lens and taking hundreds of pictures per rotation, and then digitally combining them to form a single 3-D image.

"It's a lot easier to spot a misshapen cell if you can see it from all sides," Seibel said. "A 2-D representation of a 3-D object is never perfectly accurate - imagine trying to get an exact picture of the moon, seeing only one side."

Cancer diagnosis: Now in 3-D (Video)

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