July 4, 2022

Science

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Multimedia Gallery – Making Biopsies Obsolete | NSF

Making Biopsies Obsolete

This is The Discovery Files, from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

When doctors need to remove a sample of body tissue for closer examination, they perform a biopsy. But this procedure can create additional stress and anxiety for patients.

But what if invasive biopsies were a thing of the past?

Supported in part by NSF, a team of researchers at Columbia University have developed a high-speed, 3D microscope that provides real-time, detailed images of living tissue, called MediSCAPE. The microscope might someday make biopsies obsolete.

Biopsy samples have traditionally undergone a complex procedure. They are cut out, fixed, embedded, sliced, stained with dyes, and positioned on a glass slide, then studied using a simple microscope.

Sometimes, it can take days to get the results!

This new MediSCAPE technology can provide doctors with an instant look at the cells in living tissue, enabling them to make informed decisions about how to remove any tumor present.

MediSCAPE would also prove an invaluable asset to surgeons performing especially delicate and challenging biopsies, such as on the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and eyes, minimizing the risks associated with those procedures.

MediSCAPE is a medical technology that could provide doctors real-time tools and patients real-world peace of mind.

Discover how the U.S. National Science Foundation is advancing research at nsf.gov.

“The discovery files” covers projects funded by the government’s National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research — brought to you, by you! Learn more at nsf.gov or on our podcast.

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