New Deep-Tissue Imaging Technique Illuminates Hidden Tumors

Stanford University  chemists have created a deep-tissue imaging technique that can see beneath the skin of living subjects to illuminate tumors that are buried deep within the body. This "infrared vision" technique relies on nanoparticles that contain the element erbium, which belongs to a class of rare-earth minerals that can glow in the infrared. The Stanford team covered the nanoparticles in a chemically-engineered coating that helps the particles dissolve in the bloodstream, and makes them less toxic and exit the body quicker. This video shows brain vessels of a live mouse illuminated in infrared light by erbium nanoparticle probes.