15 January, New York
A new image analysis technique can use cell phone images to quickly find and track important biological molecules, including tell-tale signs of disease.
Developed by scientists from the University of Southern California (USC), “Hyper-Spectral Phasor” analysis, or HySP, has the ability to look at many different molecules in one pass.
“By looking at multiple targets or watching targets move over time, we can get a much better view of what is actually happening within complex living systems,” said Francesco Cutrale from the USC.
The study says that one day it might also be possible for clinicians to use HySP to analyse cell phone pictures of skin lesions to determine if they are at risk of being cancerous.
Clinicians could examine the patient further to be certain of a diagnosis and respond appropriately.
Researchers use fluorescent imaging to locate proteins and other molecules in cells and tissues that works by tagging the molecules with dyes that glow under certain kinds of light.
“Both scientists at the bench and scientists at the clinic will be able to perform their work faster and with greater confidence in the results,” Cutrale said in a study published in the journal Nature Methods.