UCLA Camera World’s Fastest
Posted by Charlie Golestani on Jul 11, 2012 - 11:37:52 PM
diminutive colony of tumor cells obviously belie the danger posed. Tracking such small clusters is a
difficult task, made easier thanks to recent University of California
developments in their engineering field.
Concept photo of optical microscope with world's fastest camera.
Courtesy of UCLA Newsroom
“A new optical
microscope developed by UCLA engineers could make the tough task a whole lot
easier,” according to UCLA’s newsroom.
Standard digital filming
is the benchmark for cell analysis, but even the most advanced to date had
speeds too slow for the purpose of capturing and recording cancer cells within
a human body.
catch these elusive cells, the camera must be able to capture and digitally
process millions of images continuously at a very high frame rate," said
Bahram Jalali, holder of the Northrop Grumman Endowed Opto-Electronic Chair at UCLA’s
Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. "It takes time to
read the data from the array of pixels, and they become less sensitive to light
at high speed."
experts explain, current digital imaging relies on flow-cytometry, in which a
point of light (a laser) is scattered and registers conventional cell-types
with very high rate of penetration, however, less common types of cells, like
those in early-stage or pre-metastasis cancer patients, before the cells have
answer to that dilemma, a research team led by Jalali and Dino Di Carlo, a
bioengineering associate professor, with varied expertise in fields including
optics and high-speed electronics, microfluidics, and biotechnology, developed their
microscope with sensitivity of one part per million in real time.
that last figure isn’t quite stunning, it translates to the microscope’s
ability to detect one ‘rogue’ cell among a million others.
and his team pioneered a photonic time-stretch camera technology in 2009, a
precursor to this, the world's fastest continuous-running camera.
This device can image 100,000 cells per
second, “approximately 100 times higher than conventional imaging-based blood
analyzers,” according to information from UCLA.
Di Carlo gave thanks to collaborative
efforts between the bioengineering and electrical engineering departments and
the California NanoSystems Institute, marking a boon for UCLA cell-based
Jalali and Di Carlo are both members of
the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.
Though early detection is the key
promise, this device could aid in more accurate and targeted monitoring of drug
and radiation therapy.
"This technology can significantly
reduce errors and costs in medical diagnosis," said lead author of medical
research Keisuke Goda, a UCLA program manager in electrical engineering and
bioengineering. "To further validate the clinical utility of the
technology, we are currently performing clinical tests in collaboration with