A state-of-the-art tool created at Colorado State University allows scientists to map cellular composition in 3D at the nanoscale, enabling researchers to observe how cells respond to new drugs at the most minute level ever seen.

The new mass-spectral imaging system is the first of its kind in the world, and its applications are just beginning to surface, said Carmen Menoni, a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

A special issue of Optics and Photonics News this month highlights the CSU research among “the most exciting peer-reviewed optics research to have emerged over the past 12 months.” Editors identified the imaging device among global “breakthroughs of interest to the optics community.”

Menoni’s group, in collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of faculty, devised and built the instrument with help from students. She found a partner in CSU’s Mycobacteria Research Laboratories, which seek new treatments for the global scourge of tuberculosis.

The partners described the system in a paper published earlier this year in Nature Communications.

Source: http://www.colostate.edu/