The new invention by a team of MIT scientist may help to detect tiny tumors deep inside the body more efficiently. Dubbed as Dolphin, the optical imaging system which is based on near-infrared light can spot complex deep inside the body.
To prove the effectiveness of the new system, the scientists used a 0.1mm fluorescent probe through the digestive tract of a living mouse. The system proved to be more effective than the existing biomedical optical imaging techniques as it could detect as a signal to a tissue depth of eight cm.
One of the researchers stated that the new imaging technology could be useful for ovarian and other cancers at an early stage; preventing late-stage complications.
As per reports, the techniques which are currently available for imaging tumors have limitations in detecting cancer.
The current optical imaging methods can only collect image deeper upto three centimeters into tissue. Only x-ray computed and magnetic resonance imaging can image through the whole body. However, they can only spot tumors until they reach about a cm in size.
The researchers planned to create something unique; which could image a tiny group of cells deep within the tissue without using any kind of radioactive labeling. Finally, the researchers created the near-infrared device which could penetrate deeper into the tissue.
After that, the system was tested mainly on sodium yttrium particles. Once the test was completed, the effectiveness of the system was demonstrated by tracking a 0.1mm sized cluster of nanoparticles that was swallowed and then traveled through the digestive systems of a living mouse.