The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded Arizona State University (ASU) a $1 million grant to the team of scientists led by Deirdre Meldrum, Ph.D., at the Biodesign Institute. The team is working to build a next-generation, three-dimensional (3D) imaging microscope, called a "Cell-CT" scanner, that will perform functional computed tomographic (CT) imaging of individual living cells. This groundbreaking technology will allow researchers to observe and assess the cellular function and disease status of living cells, enabling scientists to gain new insights into the metabolic pathways of disease, such as cancer.
This next-generation Cell-CT scanner offers a transformative view of the biological structural and functional inter-relationships at the single cell level. Leveraging leading-edge technology developed by VisionGate, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ, http://www.visiongate3d.com/) in collaboration with Meldrum's team, this project will advance applications in basic and clinical science, deepening scientific understanding of metabolism and disease processes, and expanding the horizons of medical diagnostics.
The Biodesign Institute at ASU is boldly pushing the frontiers of science and medicine to uncover transformative solutions to the most urgent and complex challenges in human health, national security, and the well-being of our planet. Driven by passion and collaborative synergy, scientific inquiry and technology research and development, and fusing biosciences, engineering, and advanced computing to fuel the translation of research advances into real solutions-Biodesign and Meldrum's Center for Biosignature Discovery Automation (CBDA) are finding the clues that will enable us to diagnose and treat cancer sooner, in more targeted ways.
In Computed Tomography (CT), multiple 2D images taken from many perspectives are analyzed computationally to create a 3D rendering of a living structure or tissue. In diagnostic radiology, x-ray CT takes hundreds of perspective views around a single axis to create a cross sectional view through the patient's anatomy. Similarly, the Cell-CT combines hundreds of submicron-resolution optical images taken while rotating a single cell to render a functional 3D image of the cell. That image reveals important metabolic and disease processes in action.