A local media deník.cz have interviewed us about our microscope and what it does for cancer research; below is a transcript of the interview written by: Tereza Hálová.
It is fundamentally pushing the boundaries of research in many areas of medicine, especially cancer treatment. In cooperation with Brno technology, a special light microscope developed by scientists from the Telight company in Kohoutovice can significantly help save human lives. That is why more and more prestigious foreign institutions use the device.
Light microscopy can observe living samples, such as bacteria or human cells, compared to electron microscopy, and it can also provide information about the processes taking place in the samples. “With a sufficient sample of cells, we can analyze and determine whether a particular treatment suppresses metastasis, which traditionally has not been investigated much. There hasn’t even been a way,” said Daniel Zicha, a leading expert in cancer research.
Thanks to a special light microscope from Brno, researchers are getting more precise data about the cells. Established microscopy techniques take longer to observe, making research more challenging and less accurate. The special light microscope thus fundamentally pushes the boundaries of current research in many areas of medicine.
For example, the device can test cancer treatments for individual patients in a tailored manner. In this case, cell analysis and testing of the suitability of chemotherapy treatment is carried out on each patient individually. Differences can even be within the same diagnosis. “What is dangerous for one may not be dangerous for another, and it depends on the person’s genetic background. The diagnosis may be optimistic, and doctors prescribe a mild treatment based on that and it is not enough, or on the contrary, with a pessimistic outlook, they put on a drastic treatment that kills the patient unnecessarily,” Zicha outlined.
Petr Půček, who studies at the Brno University of Technology, had no idea about the school’s role in the birth of the special microscope. “It is fascinating to me that my school creates such projects. I believe that this breakthrough will soon help in the fight against many insidious diseases,” responded the information technology student.
The development of the complex device took more than twenty years and involved various disciplines and departments. “Experts of all kinds are needed in the development process. Some invent it in principle. Then someone has to design it optically and perhaps mechanically. If someone were to look with their eyes at what comes out of a microscope, they would see nothing. The image still has to be taken and processed in a computer,” described Radim Chmelík, the main inventor of the microscope.
The price of the special light microscope from Brno is estimated at millions of crowns, and it depends on the equipment and accessories required by the research institution. The first-generation instruments went to the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University and the Brno University of Technology. The current second generation is being used by scientists at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Academy of Sciences in Prague and the Max Planck Institute in Dresden. Another instrument will soon be in use at the University of Crete.
Tescan is behind the creation of Telight, which targets the field of light microscopy.