Medical Imaging Technology is Like "Google Maps" for the Human Body

Researchers from Australia's University of New South Wales, collaborating with German optical measurement manufacturer Zeiss, are using semiconductor technology to zoom through organs of the human body - down to the level of a single cell. The novel imaging technology, created by Zeiss, was originally developed to scan silicon wafers for defects. UNSW biomedical engineering professor Melissa Knothe Tate is leading the project, which is using the technology to explore osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Using Google algorithms, Tate can zoom in and out from the scale of the whole joint down to the cellular level "just as you would with Google Maps," reducing to "a matter of weeks analyses that once took 25 years to complete." Her team is also using cutting-edge microtome and MRI technology to examine how movement and weight bearing affects the movement of molecules within joints, exploring the relationship between blood, bone, lymphatics, and muscle.