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Tiny probe beams light into single cell

scanning electron microscope image of bioprobe

Very small, sophisticated devices known as light resonators can be inserted inside cells without damaging them, a new study proves. Even with a resonator embedded inside, a cell is able to function, migrate, and reproduce as normal.

Researchers at Stanford University call their device a “nanobeam,” because it resembles a steel I-beam with a series of round holes etched through the center. This beam, however, is not massive, but measures only a few microns in length and just a few hundred nanometers in width and thickness.

It looks a bit like a piece from an erector set of old. The holes through the beam act like a nanoscale hall of mirrors, focusing and amplifying light at the center of the beam in what are known as photonic cavities.

Full story at Futurity.

More research news from top universities.

Photo credit: Gary Shambat, Stanford School of Engineering

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  • That’s incredible. It never ceases to amaze me what we can actually do anymore! Wow!