Magazine article ASEE Prism

Squeezing the Life out of a Tumor

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Squeezing the Life out of a Tumor

Article excerpt

Tumors are living things. And like all living things, they need to be nourished with blood or they'll die. Therein lies a promising way to combat cancer: Cut off the blood supply to tumors. Toward that goal, powerful computerized microscopes are now capable of generating live, three-dimensional images within tumors. Once the growth's blood vessels can be traced, it's possible to quantify the effects of new drugs on capillary growth. But the tracing, or mapping, of the capillaries that feed tumors has to be done manually, by manipulating a PC mouse. And that's not only time-consuming but sometimes less than accurate. The images are not always clear enough for humans to spot each vessel.

Now researchers at New York's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have devised an automated system that accurately traces the blood vessels in tumors within two minutes. …

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