New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression
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IMAGE: Illinois researchers developed a tissue-imaging microscope that can image living tissue in real time and molecular detail, allowing them to monitor tumors and their environments as cancer progresses. view more 

Credit: Image courtesy of Stephen Boppart

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois.

The system uses precisely tailored pulses of light to simultaneously image with multiple wavelengths. This enables the researchers to study concurrent processes within cells and tissue, and could give cancer researchers a new tool for tracking tumor progression and physicians new technology for tissue pathology and diagnostics.

The researchers detailed the technique, called simultaneous label-free autofluorescence multi-harmonic microscopy, in the journal Nature Communications.

Stephen Boppart is an engineering professor as well as a medical doctor.

“The way we have been removing, processing and staining tissue for diagnosing diseases has been practiced the same way for over a century,” said study leader Dr. Stephen Boppart, a professor of bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering at Illinois and a medical doctor. “With advances in microscopy techniques such as ours, we hope to change the

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