Researchers from the University of Texas in Dallas have developed a means to enhance present-day diagnostic imaging by utilizing a new low-light imaging method, including the microscopic imaging of single molecules in oncologic research.
Electrical engineering professor Dr. Raimund Ober, and co-authors Jerry Chao and Sripad Ram, post-doctoral researchers at UT Dallas, and Dr. Sally Ward, professor of immunology at UT Southwestern Medical Center published their findings in the journal Nature Methods. Here, they used the standard Electron Multiplying Charge Coupled Device (EMCCD) with very different settings.
According to the UTD News Center:
“We have figured out through rigorous theoretical developments that when you run an EMCCD camera in such a way that very few photons hit each of its pixels, the resulting image is minimally corrupted by the camera noise,” [Dr. Ober] said. “Our method is about using the EMCCD camera to its fullest potential, beyond what is commonly believed to be possible by the scientific imaging community.”
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and shows promising results. This new method will be especially useful in live-tracking protein markers in cancer studies, and will allow a more accurate assessment of potential and actual malignancies on the molecular level.