Dec 4, 2020

Scientists Invent a Microscope That Can Safely Look Straight Through Your Skull

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A team of scientists has now found a way to create a clear image from scattered infrared light emitted from a laser, even after it’s passed through a thick layer of bone.

‘Our microscope allows us to investigate fine internal structures deep within living tissues that cannot be resolved by any other means,’ said physicists Seokchan Yoon and Hojun Lee from Korea University.

Seeing what the heck is going on inside of us is useful for many aspects of modern medicine. But how to do this without slicing and dicing through barriers like flesh and bone to observe living intact tissues, like our brains, is a tricky thing to do.

Thick, inconsistent structures like bone will scatter light unpredictably, making it difficult to figure out what’s going on behind them. And the deeper you wish to see, the more scattered light obscures fine and fragile biological structure.

There are plenty of options for researchers who are keen to watch living tissues do their thing, using clever optical tricks to turn scattered photons moving at certain frequencies into an image. But by risking tissue damage or operating only at shallow depths, they all have drawbacks.

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