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Nanowire light source might enable single-cell endoscopy

Nilay Patel

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A team of researchers at Berkeley has developed a new nanowire light source they say will enable new microscopy techniques and possibly even nanophotonic computing, landing them on the cover of the prestigious journal Nature this month. "Working with individual nanowires, we've developed the first electrode-free, continuously tunable coherent visible light source that's compatible with physiological environments," says Peidong Yang, one of the team leaders -- meaning the wires can be stuck into individual cells to illuminate and interact with them. Although the technology is in its infancy, the team seems excited -- another of the principal investigators, Jan Liphardt, says that if "developed to its full potential, [nanowire light sources] could yield an embarrassment of riches in new knowledge." Just don't expect to get embarrassed anytime soon, it'll be a good 10 years until this stuff manages anything exciting in the real world.

[Via Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends]

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