Novel camera could reveal biological phenomena previously unseen

April 28, 2015

An NIBIB grantee has developed an ultrafast camera that can acquire two-dimensional images at 100 billion frames per second, a speed capable of revealing light pulses and other phenomena previously too fast to be observed.

“When you turn on a laser pointer, you see an immediate beam of light. That’s because light moves so fast, you aren’t able to detect its movement with the naked eye. Using this camera, light is revealed as traveling through space from one point to another,” says the camera’s inventor, Lihong Wang, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

...For example, the camera could be used to visualize energy metabolism as it occurs within a cell’s mitochondria or the way light passes through tissue, an important consideration for therapies that use lasers to destroy diseased tissue with the goal of leaving healthy tissue unharmed.

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