Posts with the tag: fibre bundle

Dual Mode Endomicroscopy for Assessing Gene Transfection

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Fibre bundle endomicroscopes usually operate in fluorescence mode: the tissue is stained with a fluorescent dye which, when illuminated at a certain wavelength, emits light at a longer wavelength. Collecting this fluorescent emission tends to produce clear, high contrast images, and also allows back-reflections from the fibre bundle to be removed using wavelength selective filters. Reflectance mode endomicroscopes, which create an image from the light back-scattered from the tissue, have been demonstrated several times, but have found little practical application. Now, Cha et al. from John Hopkins University have developed a dual-mode device that simultaneously collects both fluorescence and reflectance images. They have used this device to measure the efficacy of gene transfection – the deliberate insertion of genes into cancerous cells.
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Mosaicing of Widefield Endomicroscopy Images

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The Bioengineering Department at Rice University in Texas has been developing fibre-bundle based widefield endomicroscopes for several years. While these devices lack the depth sectioning capabilities of confocal endomicroscopes, they can still produce useful images from certain tissues if a suitable topical fluorophore is applied. A recent paper from Richards-Kortum’s Group at Rice has demonstrated ‘real time’ mosaicing using their endomicroscope, allowing characterisation of much larger areas of tissue than would otherwise be possible.
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Microscopy through Fibre Bundles

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Microscopes are great tools – they make modern biology possible, and are essential for the diagnosis of many diseases. But they have one big disadvantage when it comes to medicine: they can’t be used directly on patients. Or at least they couldn’t, because now a new technology has emerged that allows us to perform ‘endomicroscopy’ – microscopy inside of the patient. This in vivo microscopy has lots of potential applications and is a pretty exciting area to be working in. The technology still has a few problems, but it’s shaping up to be one of the key new imaging techniques of the twenty-first century. And it has become practical because of the use of optical fibre bundles.

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