Utilizing Expansion Microscopy for Diagnosis
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Alumnus Dr. Ed Boyden, a professor at MIT Media Lab, has developed a new technique for precisely imaging biopsy samples utilizing standard microscopes. The technique, dubbed “expansion pathology,” relies on a revolutionary imaging approach developed by Dr. Boyden and his team known as expansion microscopy.
In expansion pathology, researchers dissolve the fixing agents used in biopsy samples, such as paraffin, and chemically tag landmarks within the sample. Then, using an expanding polymer gel, they physically swell a tissue sample to 100 times its original volume before imaging it. This approach offers detailed information about disease pathology and more informative biopsies while simultaneously negating the need for expensive specialized imaging equipment like electron microscopes.
Reported in Nature Biotechnology, this technique can be applied to a range of diseases including cancer and kidney diseases.