In our blood, blood cells containing red and white blood cells are flowing. In a cancer patient’s blood, it is known that a minute amount of cancer cells are mixed into the blood cells. Researchers around the globe are paying close attention to these cancer cells (Circulating Tumor Cell, CTC) as those related to cancer metastases. To discover CTCs from the cellular forms, Hamamatsu are engaged in the research and development of 3D imaging flow cytometers enabling us to visualize the internal structure of a single cell.
Quantitatie Phase Microscope (QPM) is a microscope using interference of light, which observes the morphology of live cells without staining. QPM is able to measure nanometer-scale morphological features and it has a potential to quantify subtle changes in live cells before and after drug treatment or/and differentiation. We are developing image cytometry system with QPM in order to contribute to advanced biomedical researches such as regenerative medicine.
The breast cancer incidence rate has been increasing in Japanese women. A measurement technology for diagnosing and monitoring responses to the treatment is important to improve the QOL (Quality of Life) of breast cancer patients. The near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a noninvasive measurement technique to quantify the absorption and scattering coefficients, hemoglobin concentration, and tissue oxygen saturation in the biological tissue. The light used for NIRS measurement is in the wavelength range 700 nm to 1100 nm that has relatively higher transmittance than other wavelengths. NIRS is expected to be useful for detecting change in those parameters due to growth or shrinkage of the breast cancer. The optical mammography, which is a NIRS system designed for breast measurement, will provide earlier detection and easier monitoring of the breast cancer.
Neutrophils, a type of leukocytes are mainly responsible for innate immunity. They defend our bodies against foreign invaders such as bacteria. We have developed a method to simultaneously monitor two events occurring within and around leukocytes during the innate immune response. As a result, the cell-based assay to measure antioxidant/anti-inflammatory/immunostimulant activities has been established as a method to assess the functionality of food components. We are now developing a novel system to measure the neutrophil activation even in a small amount (3 μl) of whole blood easily and accurately. This system can detect the neutrophil overactivation related to inflammation and evaluate the balance between oxidants and antioxidants in vivo, therefore it is expected to be used as the health (presymptomatic disease) check marker.
Based on our PET technology accumulated over the years, we have succeeded in developing a PET probe to measure mitochondrial function for the first time in the world. We not only promote research on biological functions using our unique PET probes but also perform drug evaluation studies as contract researches.
(We comply with research ethics and make consideration to animal welfare in performing animal experiments.)
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