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Tufts University School of Medicine

Cervical precancer identified with fluorescence, in a step toward bedside detection

Optical fluorescence scans of excised healthy and precancerous cervical epithelial tissue. In these images, the redox ratio of coenzymes reflect cellular metabolism and show up in distinctive color hues, which can vary by depth
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 8:00pm

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE and BOSTON, Mass. (May 19, 2020) – A team of researchers at Tufts University’s School of Engineering and its School of Medicine, and physicians at Tufts Medical Center have developed a method using fluorescence to detect pre-cancerous metabolic and physical changes in epithelial cells lining the cervix. According to the researchers, the new imaging method opens the door to a non-invasive, early-stage bedside diagnostic. As described today in Cell Reports Medicine, the method can visualize both metabolic and structural changes within individual cells and at different depths of the epithelial tissue near the surface, while also being able to scan the surface in a completely non-destructive manner. The combined information provides a highly accurate assessment of metabolic states in tissues, often the first changes that occur in the transition to cancer.

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