FOR SO MANY
The invention could lead to inexpensive, portable technology for performing common examinations of biomedical specimens. It may prove especially useful in remote areas and in
cases where large numbers of samples need to be examined
quickly. Because it produces images several hundred times
larger in area (field of view) than do conventional bright-field
optical microscopes, it enables faster processing of specimens.
In a blind test, a board-certified pathologist analyzed sets
of specimen images that had been created by the lens-free
technology and by conventional microscopes. The pathologist’s diagnoses using the lens-free microscopic images proved
accurate 99 percent of the time.
Accompanied by advances in its graphical-user interface,
the platform could scale up for use in clinical, biomedical, scientific, educational, and citizen-science applications, among
others, says Ozcan.
1. Q. Wei et al., ACS Nano, doi: 10.1021/nn505821y (2014).
2. A. Greenbaum et al., Sci. Transl. Med., doi: 10.1126/scitrans-
Photoswitchable drug may
increase safety of type 2
Type 2 diabetes mellitus affects 1 in 12 adults worldwide, and
a class of drugs called sulfonylureas are a mainstay of diabetes
therapy. While sulfonylureas are effective and relatively inexpensive, they have unhappy side effects—for example, they can provoke prolonged episodes of low blood sugar, elevate cardiovascular disease risk, and induce weight gain. Now, researchers at Imperial College London (England) and Ludwig Maximilian University
of Munich (Germany) have developed a light-sensitive sulfonylurea
that could be inactive under normal conditions, and activated by
a patient using LEDs stuck to his/her skin. 1 Only a small amount of
light would need to penetrate the skin to trigger the drug, which
switches off when the light goes out.
Using in situ imaging and hormone assays, the researchers
have shown that JB253 works on pancreatic beta cells of both
A lens-free handheld microscope produces images with significantly
larger field of view than do conventional brightfield systems.