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New Technology Enables 5-Dimensional Imaging in Live Animals and Humans


Multiplexed image analysis with Hyper-Spectral Phasor analysis is faster and less expensive than other methods.

University of Southern California researchers have developed an image-analysis technique that makes finding important biological molecules and learning how they interact in living organisms faster and less expensive.

Credit: Francesco Cutrale

University of Southern California (USC) researchers have developed Hyper-Spectral Phasor analysis (HySP), an image-analysis technique that makes finding important biological molecules and learning how they interact in living organisms faster and less expensive.

HySP was developed at USC's Translational Imaging Center, a joint venture of USC Dornsife and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Fluorescent imaging works by tagging the molecules with dyes that glow under certain kinds of light, but researchers currently must study different labels separately, then apply complex methods to layer them together and determine how they relate to one another. However, HySP can look at many different molecules in one pass.

"By looking at multiple targets, or watching targets move over time, we can get a much better view of what's actually happening within complex living systems," says USC researcher Francesco Cutrale.

The algorithm filters through interference to discern the true signal, even if that signal is extremely weak. "HySP uses much less computing time, and we don't need the expensive imaging instrumentation," notes USC professor Scott Fraser.

The researchers tested the HySP system on zebra fish, and found the new algorithm can effectively find weak signals in a cluttered background.

From USC Dornsife
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