posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:59 PM
HEALING WITH LIGHT
Star Trek scanners that fix injuries with beams of light may not be science fiction after all. A new optical technology that lines up living cells and
controls their movements has opened the door to better artificial tissues and wounds that heal faster with less scarring.
For years, scientists have used the energy in laser light to drill microscopic holes or as tweezers or traps to direct and maneuver small pieces of
matter. Guiding entire cells, though, has proven difficult because the lasers used for manipulation tend to damage the structural units of living
Now Aristide Dogariu and colleagues at the University of Central Florida in Orlando have developed an optical procedure that does not harm cells, but
affects their skeletons – an ensemble of slender rods made out of an abundant protein called actin. The actin rods are constantly growing and
shrinking inside of cells. The direction in which they grow changes the cell's membrane shape and dictates where the cell moves.
This is an interesting article with other technologies as well. This means we could direct cells to repair damaged tissue faster among other things.