GE Healthcare’s new imaging system captures live cells

November 1st, 2011 - 11:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Nov 1 (IANS) The US-based GE Healthcare’s firm Applied Precision Inc Tuesday unveiled a high-end resolution imaging machine that will capture live cells to understand the mechanism in diseases like cancer and HIV at the molecular level.

“The new imaging system (DeltaVision OMX Blaze) will enable scientists follow tagged proteins within the same living cell in three-dimensional space at near molecular resolution,” the company said in a statement here.

Employing high-speed cameras, the microscopy system will help researchers see moving images of live cells and how their structures behave, what they interact with and how long the events last.

“The implications of this advance in imaging technology are exciting for researchers. With the OMX Blaze, we can look for answers that we never could before,” Advanced Applications director Paul Goodwin said.

Researchers at the University of California-based Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) collaborated early as beta testers for the technology.

The system is also being installed at a number of early adopter sites around the world which are expected to go live in the next two months.

“We are only at the beginning of what this technology can do. The ability to follow cellular interactions, over time at the molecular level will open up new frontiers in many areas of life science research. This is an important step forward for cellular imaging,” GE Healthcare Life Sciences general manager Amr Abid said.

In the past decade, a number of fluorescent microscopy methods were developed to use computational or optical techniques to exceed the assumed limits of optical microscopy.

The OMX Blaze super-resolution system uses a structured illumination microscopy, which nearly doubles the resolution in three dimensions giving an eight times improvement in volume resolution compared to conventional microscopy.

“We are at the point where we need to understand mechanisms of health and disease at the molecular level. As a research tool, the advanced imaging system has potential to apply in laboratory models to observe the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy, the cell-to-cell transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and other viruses, and the dynamics of engineered nano-particles,” CBST associate research director Frank Chuang observed.

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