Nanopoint has come up with a genuine scientific breakthrough that is set to revolutionize research and medical diagnosis in a flash. The hype surrounds Nanopoint's cellTRAY, IDSA's 2007 Gold Winner in the medical category, which allows scientists to image living cells on a slide for the very first time.

The technology is a standard microscope slide with a twist; it incorporates an incubator to sustain the life of cells encapsulated within it. The viewable area is split into 7,614 wells, containing a liquid medium. The wells are linked by a micro fluidic channel system that is able to supply nutrients, reagents and remove toxic wastes that build up.


In the past biological researchers have relied upon using slides of preserved cells to make inferences about cellular processes. Put plainly, making deductions relied upon studying an "old photograph" of a system. Comparatively, the cellTRAY will be like making those same deductions using a time-delayed, video transmission. Scientific knowledge used to fill in the gaps of processes we did not completely understand; hopefully this will bring welcome light to the situation.

Having stared down many a crappy microscope for almost half a decade, as part of an education provided by University College London, it is clear to me that this sort of progress does not come often. The advancement that it offers will ease pioneering research and diagnostic efficiency the world over. It is very exciting, like being in bed with a girl; you thought it would never be possible, but now that it is, you just can't believe it. Let us hope UCL scrapes enough money together to buy some decent microscopes to see the revolution unfurl. [Product Page via Medgadget]