Scientist Miao-Ping Chien and her team have designed and built a completely new type of microscope.
In doing so, Chien hopes to boost research into rare cancer cells. ‘We can image tens of thousands of individual cells at once.
The new microscope is about the size of an old-fashioned desktop computer. ‘It’s actually a combination of a lot of lenses, mirrors, lasers and filters’, Chien explains. By cleverly combining these parts, the device solves a dilemma. Scientists want to study individual cells in great detail. This can be done with a normal microscope by extremely enlarging the image. But if you want to image many cells at once, you have to zoom out again and you lose sight of the individual cells. It was therefore impossible to image many cells at the same time with a high resolution.