There are many areas in healthcare diagnostics and screening where it is now widely accepted that the need for new quantitative monitoring technologies is a major pinch point in patient diagnostics and in vitro testing. With the increasing need to interpret 3D responses this commonly involves the need to track the diffusion of compounds, pharma-active species and cells through a 3D matrix of tissue. Methods are available but to support the advances that are currently only promised, this monitoring needs to be real-time, non-invasive, and economical. At the moment commercial meters tend to be invasive and usually require a sample of the medium to be removed and processed prior to testing. This methodology clearly has a number of significant disadvantages.
fScan combines a fiber based optical arrangement with a compact, free space optical front end that has been integrated so that the sample’s diffusion can be measured without interference. This architecture is particularly important due to the "wet" nature of the samples. fScan is designed to measure constructs located within standard well plates and a 2-D motion stage locates the required sample with respect to the measurement system.
Results are presented that show how the meter has been used to evaluate movements of samples through collagen constructs in situ without disturbing their kinetic characteristics. These kinetics were little understood prior to these measurements.