As reported in EurekAlert! CalTech’s Lihong Wang and team are working on breakthrough approaches to diagnosing cancer cells—different than PET scans, fluorescent dyes and contrasts. With the use of photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), a technique in which laser light induces ultrasonic vibrations in a sample. Those vibrations can be used to image cells, blood vessels, and tissues. Wang is using PAM to improve on an existing technology for measuring the oxygen-consumption rate (OCR) in collaboration with Professor Jun Zou at Texas A&M University. That existing technology takes many cancer cells and places them each into individual “cubbies” filled with blood. Cells with higher metabolisms will use up more oxygen and will lower the blood oxygen level, a process which is monitored by a tiny oxygen sensor placed inside each cubby. There are some weaknesses with this method. But promises as well. Follow the link to learn more.
Lihong Wong, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering