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Insights into micromillimeters
Date:7/1/2008

"TIGA," the new high-tech imaging center at the University of Heidelberg founded in cooperation with the Japanese company Hamamatsu, provides deep insights: a high-tech robot makes it possible for the first time to automatically reproduce and evaluate tissue slices only micromillimeters thick an important aid for researchers in understanding cancer or in following in detail the effect of treatment on cells and tissue.

The Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis (TIGA) Center is a cooperative effort between the Institutes of Pathology and of Medical Biometry and Informatics at the University of Heidelberg and the Japanese company Hamamatsu Photonics. In addition, it belongs to BIOQUANT, the research center for quantitative biology at the University of Heidelberg. At its core is the imaging robot "NanoZoomer" from Hamamatsu Photonics: the robot scans the tissue slices and displays them on the monitor for researchers at ultra high resolution and in various planes.

"Technically, this has brought the fully automatic evaluation of tissue changes and approaches for new therapy within our grasp," states Professor Dr. Peter Schirmacher, Director of the Institute for Pathology at Heidelberg University Hospital. This would represent a new milestone in pathology.

Detailed images help understand diseases

Which proteins are formed to a greater degree in cancer cells? How is tumor tissue changed during radiation treatment? Thanks to the NanoZoomer's high-resolution images and special evaluation programs, researchers in the future will be able to evaluate tissue and cell samples more quickly and accurately and gain important new insights for therapy tailored to the individual patient, for example for breast cancer.

In the future, the robot will be able to determine changes in cells and tissue fully automatically. "The NanoZoomer represents a quantum leap in tissue research," says Dr. Niels Grabe of the Institute f
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Contact: Dr. Annette Tuffs
annette.tuffs@med.uni-heidelberg.de
0049-622-156-4536
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert  

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