News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
Sign In

Harvard Researchers Develop Technology That ‘Turbocharges’ the Standard Medical Laboratory Microscope in Useful Ways

Breakthrough method could provide pathologists with a less expensive alternative to high-priced super-resolution microscopes or often-imprecise microscopy software

Intriguing new research has the potential to “turbocharge” the standard medical laboratory microscope in ways that create a “super-vision” capability. This would give pathologists and medical researchers an inexpensive alternative to high-priced super-resolution microscopes or often-imprecise microscopy software.

Seeking a new method for counting molecules in complexes, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University paired their DNA-powered super-resolution microscopy platform—DNA-PAINT and Exchange-PAINT—with a new procedure called quantitative points accumulation in nanoscale topography—or qPAINT. This new analytic tool can “count different molecular species in biological samples with high accuracy and precision,” noted a Wyss Institute press release. (more…)

Synthetic Biologists Demonstrate Ability to Rapidly Create Cheap, Accurate In Vitro Diagnostics Tests That Could Eventually Help Pathologists Diagnose Disease

Wyss Institute develops prototype Ebola test in less than 12 hours with $20 in materials, perhaps paving the way for inexpensive paper-based diagnostic tests with a wide range of applications outside the medical laboratory

One goal of many synthetic biology researchers is to create in vitro diagnostic testing systems that produce results that are as accurate as those produced in today’s state-of-the-art clinical laboratories, yet are much cheaper to run because they incorporate low-cost materials, such as paper.

Recently, two teams of researchers worked to demonstrate how several synthetic biology methods, when combined with programmable paper-based diagnostic platform, could detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria and strain-specific Ebola virus. These findings were published in a peer-reviewed medical journal last fall.

Such cell-free circuits embedded in paper could be the breakthrough in synthetic biology that leads to pocketsize blotter tests that can detect such diseases as Ebola in the field.  Should this line of research be applied to clinical settings, pathologists and medical laboratory scientists could soon be processing bandages that change colors in the presence of certain bacteria, or examining paper-based clothing infused with diagnostic laboratory tests that react to bio-markers specific to a chronic disease patient’s condition. (more…)

Harvard Researchers’ New DNA Barcoding May Give Pathologists Expanded Capabilities in Fluorescence Microscopy

New biomedical imaging technology could enhance pathologists’ ability to examine tissue samples via fluorescence microscopy

Scientists at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a new DNA, barcoding technique. The fluorescence microscopy approach has significant implications for the imaging community.

Beyond imaging, however, pathologists will be able to use this same technology when evaluating tissue specimens.

The new method could enable simultaneous imaging of many different types of molecules in a single cell, according to Peng Yin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and Core Faculty Member at Wyss Institute. The developers expect the method to provide researchers with a richer, more accurate view of cell behavior than is possible using current techniques. (more…)