New Imaging Tool Sees Detail 1000 Times Smaller Than Earlier Tools

Even if you didn't know anything at all about medical imaging, you would probably be able to guess that the ultimate goal of any new technology is to see smaller pieces of the body with better detail and yet less invasiveness to the body. Medical researchers at Stanford have accomplished that goal with the development of a new tool called Raman spectroscopy.
"This is an entirely new way of imaging living subjects, not based on anything previously used," said Gambhir, who directs the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford. He said signals from Raman spectroscopy are stronger and longer-lived than other available methods, and the type of particles used in this method can transmit information about multiple types of molecular targets simultaneously.
The new technology uses molecular imaging to identify tumors in the body that are as small as one trillionth of a meter in size. This is a great step forward for medical imaging because it could potentially mean that doctors in the future would be able to catch diseases - particularly cancer - in much earlier stages than is currently possible. Early detection has always meant more likelihood of beating disease so even earlier detection could mean that many of the diseases which are life-threatening today could be fairly innocuous in the future. In discussing the new technology, researchers likened it to the PET scan. This scan is currently considered to be the most efficient scan for many different types of disease detection. When it was first introduced years ago, nobody really knew the impact that it would have. The Stanford researchers hope that this new tool will exceed even current predictions and surprise people with its efficiency and effectiveness as the PET scan has done. Question of the Day: When do you think we might start seeing widespread use of a new imaging tool such as this one? photo link
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