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Deep Tissue Project Expected to Boost 3-Photon Microscopy

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EDINBURGH, Scotland, Sept. 19, 2019 — Heriot-Watt University is collaborating with laser specialist Chromacity Ltd. and microscope manufacturer Scientifica on the development of a laser designed for deep tissue analysis. Once completed, the laser could have applications in regenerative medicine, leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to research fellow and project lead Richard McCracken from the university's Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPAQS).

The project, aptly named Deep Tissue, builds upon research carried out by IPAQS professor Derryck Reid. It promises to provide a laser capable of gathering tissue data to a depth more than double the level that lasers currently on the market can analyze.
A Chromacity ultrafast laser in operation. Courtesy of Chromacity.
A Chromacity ultrafast laser in operation. Courtesy of Chromacity Ltd.

“The commercialization of an affordable laser for deep tissue imaging will benefit researchers across the life sciences, including fields such as neuroscience, where imaging of the brain through intact mouse skulls has already been demonstrated,” McCracken said. “Many future applications of this technology have not yet been identified due to the prohibitive cost of suitable laser systems, but our collaboration will remove this barrier to development.”

Currently, companies can expect to spend more than $437,000 for the nearest comparable lasers required for three-photon microscopy, which is a modality that can nondestructively and noninvasively analyze individual cells in high resolution. In addition, these lasers are bulky and capable of analyzing up to only half a millimeter beneath the surface of biological material.

The Deep Tissue project is expected to take three years and aims to cut costs and double the depth of tissue analysis. A prototype of the laser technology is scheduled for autumn 2020.
Sep 2019
Research & TechnologylasersMicroscopyBiophotonicsEurope

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