Laser Microscope Can See and Treat Skin Without Cutting Into It Interview with:
Haishan Zeng, PhDDistinguished ScientistImaging Unit - Integrative Oncology DepartmentBC Cancer Research CentreProfessor of Dermatology, Pathology, and Physics, University of British ColumbiaVancouver, BC, Canada Haishan Zeng, PhD

Distinguished Scientist
Imaging Unit – Integrative Oncology Department
BC Cancer Research Centre
Professor of Dermatology, Pathology, and Physics, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We developed a fast multiphoton microscope system that enables clinical imaging of the skin at the level of cellular resolution. With this system, we can see microstructures inside of the skin without cutting into it. We subsequently conceived the idea of directly treating the microstructures that are responsible for disease. We increased the laser power to generate intense localized heat to destroy the targeted structure. In this study, we demonstrated the feasibility of this new treatment by targeting and closing single blood vessels using our new microscope. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We have invented a new “see and treat” approach for precise microsurgery. Both the “see” (imaging) and “treat” are done non-invasively, that is, without cutting the skin. Treatment of a precise area can be carried out without adversely impacting the surrounding tissue. For example, we can treat a single blood vessel while the adjacent blood vessels operate normally. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We are working to make the system compact and convenient for clinical uses. We are also developing applications not only for skin diseases, but also for other organs where light can be delivered. For example, our microscope will be particularly advantageous for treating eye diseases where precision is critical for preventing adverse effects on vision. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response: This technology, with its non-invasive diagnosis and highly spatially selective therapy, represents an advancement in precision medicine. It will enable precise treatment on a per vessel/per lesion basis.


Yimei Huang, Zhenguo Wu, Harvey Lui, Jianhua Zhao, Shusen Xie, Haishan Zeng. Precise closure of single blood vessels via multiphoton absorption–based photothermolysis. Science Advances, 2019; 5 (5): eaan9388 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aan9388

May 19, 2019 @ 7:14 pm


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