A new machine ECU physics professors have been working on for almost ten years could help save your life.
ECU professors say the machine will be able to help diagnose diseases faster and more accurately, while making finding cures for them easier.
Dr. Xin-Hua Hu has a patent pending for his diffraction flow cytometer machine. The machine focuses on scattered light that cells give off as they pass through lasers. Dr. Hu says the scattered light, or diffraction images, give a lot of information about the 3-dimensional structure of the cell, which can be used to analyze cells, like cancer cells. That could all help with cancer treatments.
Dr. Hu says the machine will also have practical uses in places like walk-in clinics. He says right now, if someone comes in with a 103 degree fever, the doctor has to draw blood, stain it and look at it under a microscope...A method he says isn't very accurate. Dr.Hu says, "We could use our flow-cytometer, new flow-cytometer technology, to do a 3-d shape analysis of white blood cells, which could give you right away the answer to whether this is a bacteria infection or a virus infection."
Dr. Hu says the physics department is also developing computer software to help analyze the scattered light images.
With the software in development, and a patent pending on the machine, Dr. Hu says the next step is to find funding to get the technology commercialized.
Besides saving lives, Dr. Hu hopes the machine will help ECU become a top research university.