A researcher at Cardiff University has been awarded £1.1m to study living cells in minute detail. The grant will go to Paola Borri in the School of Biosciences who will use the funds to develop technology to allow cell particles, not visible to the human eye, to be examined more accurately than before.
If successful, a range of biological and medical problems which are currently not possible to study could be looked at. This could provide more reliable information about cell membranes which could help treat diseases like Alzheimer's, HIV, and influenza. Borri was awarded the money through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Borri is a frequent contributor at SPIE Photonics West. The new project will focus on using light to visualize cells and understand their chemical composition at a level beyond what can be seen by an optical microscope. The method using optical nanoscopy will mean there is no need for fluorescent staining, which is used in current techniques and can artificially modify cells, affecting their toxicity.
BBC News report