Called cryo-imaging, the system enables David Wilson and collaborators to identify single molecules, count the number of cells in an organ, compare a normal heart to an abnormal heart and more. The incredibly detailed images can show the effectiveness of different drug therapies, gene therapies and cellular therapies in preclinical testing, David Wilson said.
The cryo-imaging system literally disassembles real tissue layer by layer then reassembles the details into a cyber model. "You can't meet this resolution from outside the body", David Wilson stated.
In a paper published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, David Wilson and co-authors describe cryo-imaging and the extensive software they wrote to enable them to zero in on single cells. The images are in colour, which provides more detail than the gray scale used in other devices, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, he said.
In this specific model, the software assembled images of the internal organs, showing the location of individual metastatic cancer cells in the adrenal gland. If you're only interested in the central nervous system, the vascular system or something less than a complete specimen, the imager has the capability of giving you exactly what you want, David Wilson said. As the computer assembles the images, it sends text message updates to researchers.
James Basilion, an associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve, did not work on David Wilson's imager but has seen the results. "This device provides superb resolution and sensitivity to identify fluorogenic compounds or cells virtually anywhere within a specimen", James Basilion stated. "No longer do we need to 'guess' which cells are taking up agents from radiological biodistribution studies. We now can visualize them."
David Wilson launched his research with a Third Frontier grant from the state of Ohio. As he made progress, he was funded with about $1,5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health. He has founded a start-up company, called BioInVision Inc., in Mayfield Village, Ohio, to commercialize the imaging system.
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