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British invention quadruples the power of microscope

25-06-2017 07:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

British invention quadruples the power of microscope | My Indian Dream

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A boon to medical research

The humble microscope has suddenly become super powerful, thanks to a British nanotech invention that has quadrupled its magnification power to a level far beyond what could previously be achieved with visible light.

This will prove to be a boon to medical research as it will enable doctors or scientist to view the structure of viruses with a regular microscope, not one that uses electron beams or X-rays to observe very tiny objects.

Scientists combined a traditional lens with tiny transparent beads, or "microspheres", to amplify sub-wavelength light that would normally be invisible.

Project leader and commercial director Alex Sheppard said that they have invented a superlens technology which increases the magnification of the regular optical microscope by four times. While a regular optical microscope is limited to seeing 200-nanometre structures by limitations in physics, this allows you to see structures which are 90 nanometres (billionths of a metre).

Its developer, start-up company LIG Nanowise based at Manchester Science Park, said that this microscope could be a "game changer" in the fields of drug discovery, cancer research, and microelectronics. The Nanopsis microscope can replace the highly expensive equipment usually only found in universities, large companies or specialist centres as it is now capable of doing the same job.

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