Microvision's light-scanning camera could achieve a magnification that rivals electron microscopes - enabling clinicians and researchers to view bacterial colonies within live patients.
The company, based at Bothell, Washington, US, said it would be using its proprietary silicon micro-mirror technology to develop the camera in conjunction with scientists at Montana State University, US.
Dr John Liddicoat, a cardiac surgeon of Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, said: "The opportunities for real-time visualization down at the cell level would be incredibly valuable. We could realize a broad range of uses in medicine.
"For example, by applying this technology we may be able to accurately direct pharmacological and mechanical interventions."
Dr David Dickensheets, principal investigator for the project at Montana State University, said: "We have noted unusual in vivo behavior of many bacterial colonies when conducting biological specimen studies.
"However, in order to fully understand the mysterious behavior of these bacterial colonies we need to view them in their natural state."
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