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World's fastest camera, created by UCLA engineers, used to detect rogue cancer cells
Date:7/6/2012

fessor of bioengineering, with expertise in optics and high-speed electronics, microfluidics, and biotechnology, has developed a high-throughput flow-through optical microscope with the ability to detect rare cells with sensitivity of one part per million in real time.

This technology builds on the photonic time-stretch camera technology created by Jalali's team in 2009 to produce the world's fastest continuous-running camera.

In the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jalali, Di Carlo and their colleagues describe how they integrated this camera with advanced microfluidics and real-time image processing in order to classify cells in blood samples. The new blood-screening technology boasts a throughput of 100,000 cells per second, approximately 100 times higher than conventional imaging-based blood analyzers.

"This achievement required the integration of several cutting-edge technologies through collaborations between the departments of bioengineering and electrical engineering and the California NanoSystems Institute and adds to the significant technology infrastructure being developed at UCLA for cell-based diagnostics," Di Carlo said.

Both Jalali and Di Carlo are members of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.

Their research demonstrates real-time identification of rare breast cancer cells in blood with a record low false-positive rate of one cell in a million. Preliminary results indicate that this new technology has the potential to quickly enable the detection of rare circulating tumor cells from a large volume of blood, opening the way for statistically accurate early detection of cancer and for monitoring the efficiency of drug and radiation therapy.

"This technology can significantly reduce errors and costs in medical diagnosis," said lead author Keisuke Goda, a UCLA program manager in electrical engineering and bioengineering.

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Contact: Wileen Wong Kromhout
wwkromhout@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0540
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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