Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis cannot be easily cured and now in one of the recent advancements scientists, including one of Indian origin, have created a new system that could make it easier to diagnose such ailments.
This new system makes diagnosis affordable and will be particularly helpul in remote areas where there is lack of expensive lab equipment.
Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US have used simple optical hardware and a lens-free microscope to develop this noteworthy technology. Its sophisticated algorithms will help reconstruct the images of tissue samples.
With this, tissue biopsy that is widely considered the gold standard for detecting diseases like cancer and inflammatory conditions will be made available for people in developing countries.
However, the test is relatively expensive and complex, and it requires the use of sophisticated facilities - a serious challenge in regions with limited resources.
Aydogan Ozcan, professor at UCLA said, "Although technological advances have allowed physicians to remotely access medical data to perform diagnoses, there is still an urgent need for a reliable, inexpensive means for disease imaging and identification - particularly in low- resource settings - for pathology, biomedical research and related applications".
The researchers, including Rajan Kulkarni, an assistant professor at UCLA, prepared tissue samples using a technique called Clarity, which makes tissue transparent, or "clears" it, using a chemical process that removes fat and leaves behind proteins and DNA.
The researchers used coloured, light-absorbing dyes which can be used with regular microscopy tools without any noticeable signal loss over time, said Kulkarni.
The research that was published in the journal Science Advances, uses the method that allowed the scientists to use tissue samples that were 0.2 millimetres thick, more than 20 times thicker than a typical sample - a critical benefit of the new system because producing thinner tissue slices is difficult without sophisticated equipment.