Imagine navigating through the cells of a human body as you would through the streets of a big city. A biomedical engineer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, Melissa Knothe Tate, has developed a new project to create a “Google Maps” for the body.
The system uses an approach similar to satellite imagery. It employs semiconductor technology and Google Maps algorithms to zoom through the human body down to the cellular level.
For example, researchers can go from the whole knee down to the level of a single cell to examine how motion and weight bearing affect the movement of molecules within joints.
It also helps us understand “how the cells are getting their nutrition and how this is all connected,” says Tate on the UNSW website. The goal of her project was to gain insight into osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The end-point is to find “preventive and natural measures to slow down degeneration with age and speed up healing.” The imaging technology is developed by the German medical technology company Zeiss.
Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She's the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine and MedicalExpo e-magazine.