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The quest for imaging that is more accurate and acquired more efficiently than traditional 2D microscopy is wide-ranging and, in recent years, has yielded a variety of new techniques. In our cover story, Gary Greenberg of HNu-Edge looks at one of them: nonconfocal 3D microscopy. The increased depth of focus in the automated system Greenberg describes displays hidden depth information and can reveal relationships between structures. The system also allows more information to be gleaned in a shorter period of time. It holds promise as a cost-effective solution for neuroscience, vascular research, and cytopathology. “Nonconfocal 3D Microscopy Combines Real-Time Images with Depth of Focus” (read article).
Igor K. Lednev and Nicole Ralbovsky of the University at Albany, SUNY, report on another technique that has specific application for neuroscience: Raman hyperspectroscopy. Combined with advanced statistics, the technique has been used as a minimally invasive method for diagnosing patients with Alzheimer’s disease and differentiating them from individuals with other types of dementia. Raman hyperspectral imaging of a patient’s blood sample, the authors write, generates massive amounts of data with exceptional chemical specificity. Paired with advanced statistics, it is particularly useful for the diagnosis of diseases that exhibit physiological changes as its pathology progresses. “Raman Hyperspectroscopy Shows Promise for Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s” (read article).
Elsewhere in the magazine:
• Tessa Pocock of the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute writes about the use of LEDs for controlled-environment agriculture. Because they can alter spectra quickly and dynamically, LEDs provide countless opportunities to control the production of horticultural crops, she writes. The trick is to develop the right strategy. “The McCree Curve Demystified” (read article).
• Christoph Gayer of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology tells us about the use of laser sintering to create patient-specific titanium implants that can shorten surgery times and hasten recoveries. He also writes about current research into the creation of biodegradable patient-specific implants that would pave the way for complete regeneration of the tissue and a better quality of life for the patient. “3D Printing Creates Patient-Specific Implants” (read article).
• For our Biopinion this month, David Levitz of MobileODT re-examines the relationship between researchers/entrepreneurs and large universities. Under the auspices of university tech transfer programs, the traditional process of transferring technical discoveries made in schools to businesses sounds reasonable. But, he writes, there can be a better way. “Tech transfer needs an overhaul” (read article).
• In a special section on biomedical imaging, Rongguang Liang of the University of Arizona talks about the use of smartphones to screen for oral cancers. “Smartphone Imaging Fights Oral Cancers in Developing Countries” (read article).
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