BME Colloquium: Vadim Backman, Ph.D.
Detecting Alterations in Cell Nanoarchitecture with Optical Imaging
Understanding cell functioning at the nanoscale has been hampered in part by the diffraction limited resolution of optical microscopy. We developed an optical microscopic spectroscopy technique, partial wave spectroscopy (PWS), that is capable of quantifying statistical properties of cell structure at the nanoscale. Our animal and human studies demonstrated that alterations in the nanoscale cell architecture is one of the earliest events in carcinogenesis and precedes any other known morphological changes at large length scales (i.e. microarchitecture). This appears to be a general event in carcinogenesis, which is supported by our data in three types of cancer: colon, pancreatic and lung cancers.