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State of the art laser to be developed for deep tissue analysis

18 Sep | By Chromacity Lasers
State of the art laser to be developed for deep tissue analysis
A new, state-of-the-art laser that aims to enable greater analysis of biological tissue.
Image source: Chromacity Ltd.

A highly-specialist laser capable of analysing potentially deadly diseases as never before is under development at Heriot-Watt University. The Deep Tissue project is a new, state-of-the-art laser that aims to enable greater analysis of biological tissue including skin, bone and even plant life.

 

Deep Tissue is a collaborative project between ultrafast laser specialist Chromacity, the microscope manufacturer Scientifica, and the University.

 

The three-year project builds upon research carried out by Professor Derryck Reid from the university’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPAQS), to create a laser capable of gathering tissue data to a depth more than double what is presently available on the market, and at around a third of the cost.

 

Dr Richard McCracken, a Research Fellow from IPAQS and project lead, said: “This is a hugely exciting project to be involved with and it could significantly help open up a host of new research areas by providing a specialist technology at a greatly reduced cost.

 

“The commercialisation of an affordable laser for deep tissue imaging will benefit researchers across the life sciences, including fields such as neuroscience where imaging of the brain through intact mouse skulls has already been demonstrated. Many future applications of this technology have not yet been identified due to the prohibitive cost of suitable laser systems but our collaboration will remove this barrier to development.”

 

At present, companies, particularly in the field of medical research, can spend up to £350,000 for the nearest comparable laser source. Aside from the significant spend, the technology is typically bulky and capable of analysing up to half a millimetre beneath the surface of biological material.

 

In contrast, Deep Tissue aims to deliver a far more streamlined laser that in many cases will double the tissue depth that can be imaged.

 

This emerging class of laser is required for a form of imaging known as three-photon microscopy.It means individual cells can be analysed in high-resolution without damaging surrounding tissue and in a non-invasive manner.


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