Medical physicist’s new method generates 3D images of cancer cells

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spinonews 3D images of cancer cells

3D images of cancer cells

Medical physicists developed a new method that can generate 3D images of cancer cells in the body. This medical news can use to investigate the development of cancer cells more closely in the body.

Researchers try to understand the growth of cancer cells and their properties to provide specific cancer treatment. Cancer cells often examined in test tubes before the findings tested in living organisms.

Professor Jan Laufer from, Martin Luther University, Germany, says, our aim is to visualize cancer cells inside the living body to find out how they react to new therapies. He used Photoacoustic imaging, a process that uses ultrasound waves generated by laser beams to produce high-resolution, 3D images of the body’s interior.

3D images of cancer cells
Source: phys.org

Laufer explains, the problem is that tumor cells are transparent. This makes it difficult to use optical methods to examine tumors in the body. To solve this problem, scientists first introduce a specific gene into the genome of the cancer cells.

Phytochrome protein

After the genome entering the cells, the gene produces a phytochrome protein, which originates from plants and bacteria. It serves as a light sensor. At that point, using laser researchers illuminate the tissue with short pulses of light at two different wavelengths. The phytochrome proteins can change their structure and their absorption properties depending on the wavelength of the laser beams.

In the body, the light pulses absorbed and converted into ultrasonic waves. These waves can measure outside the organism and researchers recreated two images of the body’s interior based on this data.

By calculating the difference between the two images, a high-resolution 3D image of the tumor cells are created. The results in changes to the amplitude of the ultrasound waves generated in the tumor cells.  Researchers said, this method can also used to observe cellular and genetic processes in living organisms.