An Indian-origin scientist has developed stainless staining that provides a new tool for better diagnosis of cancer.
Till date, prepared biopsy samples are stained and examined under a light microscope. Using infrared spectroscopic imaging for microscopy, Rohit Bhargava, an IIT-Delhi graduate and now with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has reported the development of label-free chemical imaging to provide the same information as molecular stains.
Instead of using stains, the new method measures the chemical constitution of cells and tissues directly.
The outcome is that molecular stains can be reproduced without staining the tissue but by using the intrinsic molecular contrast of the tissue and computation.
The study relies on computation instead of staining to provide biopsy images.
"Infrared and optical imaging seemed to be distinct modes for getting important data in pathology. This study shows a close link between the two, allowing the user to choose the best method to address their needs," Bhargava commented in a university statement.
Thus, any sample can be stained for desired stains without material cost, time or effort while leaving precious tissue pristine for downstream analysis.
Another use of the approach can be in the analysis of small amounts of samples, for example from a thin needle biopsy.
"The development of this approach promises to have immediate and long-term impact in changing pathology to a multiplexed molecular science in both research and clinical practice," the authors noted.