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[Media Release] Illuminating detection of deep cancers

June 15, 2016

Tokyo Tech and UEC researchers develop a new bioluminescence imaging system to improve detection sensitivity of targets in deep tissues

To see right through something is to know its true intent—the same could be said to apply to biological tissues, especially tumors.

Bioluminescence imaging with a firefly enzyme, called luciferase, and its substrate D-luciferin, is widely used to monitor biological processes. However, the emission wavelength of bioluminescence produced by D-luciferin limits the sensitivity of this technique. At 562 nm, this light does not effectively penetrate biological tissues.

To overcome this limitation, a team of Tokyo Tech and the University of Electro-Communications (UEC) researchers developed a luciferin analog (a compound that resembles another in structure) that can produce bioluminescence with near-infrared wavelength and is applicable in animal experiments. This allows markedly higher target-detection sensitivity, even at very low concentrations.

For more details, please see the file below,

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