Scientists develop way to make bodies "see-through"
Scientists from the California Institute of Technology have developed a way to turn the body transparent, which they say will allow them to better examine and understand how internal body parts function and interact.
The researchers used rodents to test a technique that involved infusing a molecular detergent in the bloodstream, which worked to dissolve fatty lipid molecules. Such lipids can distort light and make tissues opaque, so by dissolving them, the researchers were able to make organs transparent. After three days, the researchers were able to do this with the kidneys, hearts, lungs and intestines. After two weeks, the researchers were able to make transparent the entire body.
The report, published in the journal Cell, said that the technique holds numerous medical implications, such as seeing in cancer patients exactly how far the disease has spread. Researchers said they may also be able to use the technique to map nerves running from the brain to the rest of the body and trace where various viruses hide in tissues.