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UV microscope to help in diagnosis
December 21, 2017, 5:11 pm

A new microscope that uses ultraviolet light to illuminate samples enables pathologists to assess high-resolution images of biopsies and other fresh tissue samples for disease within minutes, without requiring the time-consuming preparation of conventional slides or destroying the tissue.

The technology, known as Microscopy with UV Surface Excitation (MUSE), uses ultraviolet light at wavelengths below the 300 nanometer range to penetrate the surface of tissue samples by only a few microns (about the same thickness of tissue slices on traditional microscope slides.)

Samples that have been stained with eosin or other standard dyes to highlight important features such as nuclei, cytoplasm and extracellular components produce signals from the UV excitation that are bright enough to be detected by conventional color cameras using sub-second exposure times. The process allows for rapid imaging of large areas and immediate interpretation.

The new MUSE technology, developed at the University of California, eliminates any need for conventional tissue processing with formalin fixation, paraffin embedding or thin-sectioning. And, since it does not require lasers, confocal, multi-photon or optical coherence tomography instrumentation, the simple technology makes it well suited for deployment wherever biopsies are obtained and evaluated.

MUSE's ability to quickly gather high-resolution images without consuming the tissue is an especially important feature, since sometimes just preparing conventional microscope slices can consume most of or even all of small specimens.

The ability to obtain instant, high-resolution, full-color images for histology, pathology or toxicology studies is also useful for basic scientists who want to assess tissue samples from experimental animal models at the laboratory bench.


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