The result of this "multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography", or MSOT, is an image with a striking spatial resolution better than 40 micrometers (four hundredths of a millimeter). And best of all, the sedated fish wakes up and recovers without harm following the procedure.
Dr. Daniel Razansky, who played a pivotal role in developing the method, says, "This opens the door to a whole new universe of research. For the first time, biologists will be able to optically follow the development of organs, cellular function and genetic expression through several millimeters to centimeters of tissue."
In the past, understanding the evolution of development or of disease required numerous animals to be sacrificed. With a plethora of fluorochrome pigments to choose from including pigments using the fluorescence protein technology for which a Nobel Prize was awarded in 2008 and clinically approved fluorescent agents observing metabolic and molecular processes in all kinds of living organisms, from fish to mice and humans, will be possible. The fruits of pharmaceutical research can also be harvested faster since the molecular effects of new treatments can be observed in the same animals over an extended period of time.
Bio-engineer Ntziachristos is convinced that, "MSOT can truly revolutionize biomedical research, drug discovery and healthcare. Since MSOT allows optical and fluorescence imaging of tissue to a depth of several centimeters, it could become the method of choice for imaging cellular and subcellular processes throughout entire living tissues."
|Contact: Sven Winkler|
Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health