Future tech: Holographic microscope visualizes living cells in 3D

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Korean researchers have developed a new holographic imaging tool capable of viewing and analyzing living cells in 3D without staining, according to a press release from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

The tool, known as holotomography (HT-1), uses laser illumination to create a 3D refractive index map of the chemical and structural characteristics of cells.

“As one of the two currently available, high-resolution tomographic microscopes in the world, I believe that the HT-1 is the best in class regarding specifications and functionality,” said KAIST professor YongKeun Park, PhD, in a press release. “Users can see 3D/4D live images of cells, without fixing, coating or staining cells. Sample preparation times are reduced from a few days or hours to just a few minutes.”

The HT-1 was launched by the researchers through a Korean start-up called Tomocube and is currently in use in by Korean hospitals Seoul National University Hospital and Boramae Hospital in Seoul.

Read the press release here.