Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a lower-cost biomedical imaging system that could replace a $100,000 piece of a lab equipment. The system comes with components that cost just hundreds of dollars.
The system uses fluorescence lifetime imaging technique and it has applications in DNA sequencing and cancer diagnosis. So the study could have implications for both clinical practice and biological research.
"The theme of our work is to take the electronic and optical precision of this big expensive microscope and replace it with sophistication in mathematical modeling. We show that you can use something in consumer imaging, like the Microsoft Kinect, to do bioimaging in much the same way that the microscope is doing," says Ayush Bhandari, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and one of the system's developers.
Measuring that interval - the "lifetime" of the fluorescence - in a biological sample treated with a fluorescent dye can produce information about the sample's chemical composition. The study was published in the journal Optica.
Reference: Ayush Bhandari, Christopher Barsi, and Ramesh Raskar doi: 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000965