Matjaž Humar and his colleague Seok Hyun Yun of Harvard University have made a major breakthrough in biological cell research, as they succeeded to create self-contained cellular biolasers, Slovenia’s leading research institution, the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), announced in a press release on Wednesday.
The lasers appear in the form of a microscopic fluorescent droplet, the IJS said adding that the discovery will reveal new possibilities for the use of lasers inside the human body.
Humar and Yun applied the microlasers to measure forces inside a cell and used them as a way of labelling cells.
The latter could come particularly handy to cell researchers, since combining beads of different sizes with several fluorescent dyes would enable them to create as many unique laser tags as there are cells in the human body.
In the future, these internal micro-pulses of energy could activate drugs directly in tissues and thus enable treatment of cancerous cells or infected tissues, the institute explained.
The breakthrough was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Photonics on Monday and immediately caught the eye of the general public, the IJS also said.
Humar is currently a research fellow in dermatology at Harvard Medical School in the context of Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship EU programme.