Molecular Imaging Hack Makes Cameras Faster Than Usual

Posted: Nov 19 2016, 12:17pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Molecular Imaging Hack Makes Cameras Faster than Usual
Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
 

The new technique allows researchers to study chemical processes that happens faster than the rate of most laboratory cameras

Scientists have discovered what can be a cheat code for making photographing processes faster than most standard laboratory cameras. 

The technique, called super temporal resolution microscopy (STReM), enables researchers to capture data 20 times faster, providing them a more closer and detailed look at the fluorescing molecules. 

The new technology is based on super-resolution microscopy, a form of light microscopy which is not limited by the diffraction of light and records dynamic processes in living cells at subnanonoscale. Despite achieving higher spatial resolution, super-resolution microscopy has a shortcoming. Its temporal resolution remains low.

"Super-resolution microscopy lets us image things smaller than about half of visible light's wavelength - around 250 nanometers,” said co-researcher Christy Landes from Rice University. “You couldn't take pictures of anything faster than your frame rate.”

Using rotating phase mask, researchers encode fast dynamics in each camera frame. As the camera spins faster, it captures molecules movements along 2D surfaces. The resulting images help researchers capture events faster than the rate of typical laboratory camera which can reach the frame rate of 10 to 100 miliseconds. 

The new technology not only tells how far from the focal plane a subject is but also helps detect their movement. The cameras developed on new technology can help extract more information from single image without the need of buying faster and expensive cameras.

“Like the single pixel camera, we’re doing compressive analysis,” said Landes. “With the static phase mask, three dimensional information is compressed into a 2-D image. In this particular case, we have compressed faster information into a slower camera frame rate. It’s a way to get more information in the pixels that you have.” 

 

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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