Sound waves detect disease related changes in red blood cell shape

Ryerson University investigators used photoacoustics to create detailed images to detect changing shapes of red blood cells associated with diseases including maria, sickle cell anemia and certain types of cancer.

A drop of blood is placed under a microscope that picks up sounds produced by the cells. Researchers then focus a laser beam on the samples. As the blood cells absorb energy from the laser pulse, they release some of it in the form of sound waves, enabling scientists to understand details about the shape of the cell.

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