Break-Through Ultrasound Technique Uses Sound Rather Than Light To See Inside Live Cells

Posted: Dec 23 2016, 3:32pm CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Break-Through Ultrasound Technique Uses Sound Rather Than Light to See Inside Live Cells
These are stem cells becoming fat cells. Using the ultrasound technique, we can start exploring why fat cells put on fat and whether we can make the cells 'diet'. Credit: University of Nottingham

Ultrasound Can Now See Deep Inside Live Cells

New research has helped scientists develop a new technique to use sound to see deep inside the live cells. The technique can help a lot in diagnosing cancer according to researchers from The University of Nottingham.

The new method is based on a nano-scale ultrasound where it uses sound wavelengths rather than light. The new technique would help in imaging information about behavior and mechanical properties of live cells to a broader extent never done before.

Researchers from the Optics and Photonics group in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham did all the research that published in a paper titled, 'High resolution 3D imaging of living cells with sub-optical wavelength phonons' in the journal, Scientific Reports.

We are only familiar with ultrasound that lets us look inside the body, but the new technique would allow doctors to see inside each cell in the body. This facility is right now available only in Nottingham stated Professor Matt Clark, a researcher.

Cell study with ultrasound is different than microscopy where it has fewer wavelengths because light is used. Wavelength of microscopic light can’t be increased due to its toxic effects. It also needs more light and time to study deep that can destroy the cells.

Sound on the other hand works differently at low wavelengths that can study deep live cells unlike light. Ultrasound will not be toxic to cells, so we can place the cells back inside the body like stem-cell transplants, said Professor Clark from Engineering, University of Nottingham.

The university has allowed media to interview their faculty about this new ultrasound technique. Social media like twitter has updates of this new ultrasound technique.

University of Nottingham has won several awards, and it’s internationally recognized in terms of research work. It also won an award for world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Green metrics Ranking of World Universities.

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