Nanoscopy Meets Pathology
The digital transformation of pathology promises to revolutionize modern medicine and disease diagnostics. This translates into curing more patients and saving billions of Euros in diagnostic and treatment costs.
Unfortunately, this potential is significantly limited by the vast resolution and cost void between the two imaging systems currently in use for pathology today: the low-cost, high speed, and lower resolution optical microscope and the high-cost, slow speed, high resolution electron microscope.
NanoPath, a BioTek 2021 project funded by the Research Council of Norway, aims to bridge that gap, providing optical resolution of 50-250 μm with higher throughput and lower cost than electron microscopy but with higher resolution than conventional optical microscopy.
The enabling technologies are a special chip containing optical waveguides and software to computationally improve the imaging resolution, which utilizes the intensity fluctuations naturally found in fluorescent dyes. The optical chip enables imaging large areas at much higher speed than traditional techniques, while the software improves the resolution to below 100 nm without the need for expensive super-resolution microscopes. These technologies are continuously developed and improved with the help of their inventors and the rest of the UiT Optical Nanoscopy team.
A talented international team of pathologists have signed on to test the new nanopath technology and see how it can improve their research and ability to make diagnoses, as well as provide feedback for future improvements. This team shares expertise in a broad range of medical and histopathological specialties, including kidney, cancer, and maternal health. In addition to testing in Tromsø on the original chip-based nanoscope, prototype systems will travel to Radium Hospital in Oslo and Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm to be tested alongside traditional pathology methods.