For the first time, researchers have used ultra-thin layers of 2-D structures known as metasurfaces to create holograms that can measure the polarization of light. The new metasurface holograms could be used to create very fast and compact devices for polarization measurements, which are used in spectroscopy, sensing and communications applications. Metasurfaces are optical elements [..]

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Although various image-based central position estimation (centroid fitting) methods such as 2D Gaussian fitting methods have been commonly used in single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) to precisely determine the location of each fluorophore, it is still a challenge to improve the single-molecule lateral localization precision to molecular scale (<2 nm) for high-throughput nanostructure imaging. Recognizing this, [..]

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Tip-enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (TERRS) has been demonstrated by a research team at Fritz-Haber Institute. The results suggest that TERRS could offer a new approach for the atomic-scale optical characterization of local electronic states. The researchers demonstrated TERRS on ultrathin zinc oxide layers epitaxially grown on a Ag(111) surface in which both physical and chemical [..]

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Since the dawn of digital computing, scientists have dreamed of building artificial neural networks that would function like biological brains and solve difficult problems. As nanophotonic circuits became a reality, researchers have tried to create neural networks that would run at the speed of light, but translating a key mathematical component of artificial neurons, the [..]

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Functional near-IR imaging is an attractive route to neuroimaging and brain mapping, thanks to its ability to recover oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations. But the inherently strong scattering of NIR wavelengths in tissues means that methods to boost image quality and quantitative accuracy are a necessary consideration. A project from the University of Birmingham and Washington [..]

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Researchers have developed the first fully-integrated, non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) gas sensor enabled by specially engineered synthetic materials known as metamaterials. The sensor has no moving parts, requires little energy to operate and is among the smallest NDIR sensors ever created. The sensor is ideal for new Internet of Things and smart home devices designed to [..]

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To improve detection of pathogens such as HIV and viruses that cause respiratory tract infection, which have molecular fingerprints that are difficult to distinguish, sensors in diagnostic tools need to manipulate light on a nanoscale. However, a method to manufacture these light manipulation devices without damaging the sensors does not yet exist. Recognizing this, a [..]

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Biomedical engineers at Duke University have devised a method for increasing the resolution of optical coherence tomography (OCT) down to a single micrometer in all directions, even in a living patient. The new technique, called optical coherence refraction tomography (OCRT), could improve medical images obtained in the multibillion-dollar OCT industry for medical fields ranging from [..]

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Scientists from Arizona State University are leveraging the tools of data science to study molecular activity more quickly than is possible through traditional fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). While FCS provides estimates of dynamical quantities, it requires high signal-to-noise ratios and time traces that are typically in the minute range. The researchers at ASU are using [..]

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The world, say many experts, is on the verge of a second quantum revolution. Energy quantization gave us modern electronics via the transistor and the laser, but humans’ burgeoning ability to manipulate individual atoms and electrons could potentially transform industries ranging from communications and energy to medicine and defense. That promise has triggered major funding, [..]

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Super-resolution microscopy, the Nobel Prize–winning innovation that allows imaging below the diffraction limit of light, has enabled some breathtakingly sharp views of tiny biological structures. But it’s not something you’ll find in a typical biology lab—instead, it requires sometimes complex and costly tools and substantial image post-processing. Now, researchers at the Macquarie University ARC Center [..]

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A team of researchers at the Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden; Dresden, Germany) has developed a self-calibrating endoscope that produces 3D images of objects smaller than a single cell. Without a lens or any optical, electrical, or mechanical components, the tip of the endoscope measures 200 µm across. As a minimally invasive tool for [..]

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Beta-amyloid plaques, the protein aggregates that form in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, disrupt many brain functions and can kill neurons. They can also damage the blood-brain barrier — the normally tight border that prevents harmful molecules in the bloodstream from entering the brain. MIT engineers have now developed a tissue model that mimics beta-amyloid’s [..]

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It is now widely acknowledged that aggressive therapy within the first three months of symptom onset improves long-term outcomes for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease in which the patient’s own immune system attacks the lining of their joints. But diagnosis is hampered by limitations of the technologies currently used to detect such [..]

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A new two-photon microscope from scientists at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus can record footage of brain activity 15 times faster than once believed possible, the team said, revealing voltage changes and neurotransmitter release over large areas and monitoring hundreds of synapses simultaneously. The new tool, called scanned line angular projection microscopy, or [..]

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Researchers for the first time have combined a powerful microscopy technique with automated image analysis algorithms to distinguish between healthy and metastatic cancerous tissue without relying on invasive biopsies or the use of a contrast dye. This new approach could one day help doctors detect cancer metastasis that is otherwise difficult to see via standard [..]

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Researchers have demonstrated that an optical technique known as Raman spectroscopy can be used to differentiate between benign and cancerous thyroid cells. The new study shows Raman spectroscopy’s potential as a tool to improve the diagnosis of thyroid cancer, which is the ninth most common cancer with more than 50,000 new cases diagnosed in the [..]

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