Upton, NY, Oct. 11 (UPI) — U.S. government scientists have developed a microscopic imaging technique that might lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases.
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have filed a provisional patent application for the new method of correlating the results of microscopic imaging techniques.
The scientists said their invention is essentially a micron-scale metallic marking grid upon which researchers place their samples — biological tissues or inorganic samples such as minerals — prior to imaging with different methods.
Lisa Miller, leader of the research team noted many diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, are characterized by changes in both organic materials, such as proteins, as well as changes in the composition or concentration of inorganic trace metals.
Scientists have techniques for studying each kind of sample independently. But, she said, without being able to correlate the findings, important information about the relationship between the organic and inorganic components can be missed.
In addition to helping scientists study disease processes, the method could be applied in monitoring and cleaning up environmental contamination, which is also characterized by the interplay of organic and inorganic factors.
More information on the study can be found at: http://www.nsls.bnl.gov/newsroom/science/2007/09-Miller.htm