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Illuminating detection of deep cancers

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.

A luciferin analog generating near-infrared bioluminescence achieves highly sensitive deep-tissue imaging
A luciferin analog generating near-infrared bioluminescence achieves highly sensitive deep-tissue imaging
Image Credit: Tokyo Institute of Technology