University of Michigan researchers have successfully demonstrated a new technique that combines laser light with an FDA-approved fluorescent dye to monitor cell structure and activity at the molecular level. This could lead to improved clinical imaging and better monitoring of tumors and other cell structures. It could also be used during drug testing to monitor the changes that cells undergo when exposed to prospective new drugs.
The team, led by Biomedical Engineering professor Xudong (Sherman) Fan, shined laser light into a small laser cavity containing whole human blood infused with Indocyanine green, an FDA-approved fluorescent dye.
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Ref: Optofluidic Lasers in Blood. Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics - OSA Technical Digest (10 June 2016)
The first demonstration of lasing in human whole blood was achieved by using the Indocyanine green as the gain media via an optofluidic ring-resonator, which may lead to novel clinical applications of optofluidic lasers.