Boston University Medical School developed an eye scanner that can detect molecular aging in people. The new technique provides an accurate measure of age-related damage.
Everyone ages, but not in the same way. Two people of exactly the same age may be in very different states of health. In other words, chronological age and biological age are different. But while chronological age is very easy to measure, biological age is more difficult to assess. Processes of aging, is the deterioration of cells and tissues among individuals.
The researchers have developed a new eye scanner that detects molecular signatures of aging in the lens. Doctors could use it clinically to assess an individual’s aging process and then suggest personalized treatments and diagnosis.
Why Eyes ?
The eyes are a good measure of aging because they contain cells that are generated in the fetus and not replaced. This means that the cells that a person is born with remain with them for life. These cells are called primary fiber cells, and they occur in the lens, which focuses light onto the back of the eye these cells also contain the highest concentration of protein in the human body. However, these proteins do not regenerate, so they accumulate damage throughout life. This damage could provide a molecular readout of the aging process.
How it works ?
To decode this molecular information, the researchers used a technique called quasi-elastic light scattering, or QLS, which uses lasers to measure the size of particles.
The technique works because the molecular damage that occurs to lens proteins over time causes the proteins to change shape and stick together. This aggregation of altered proteins changes the scattering of light in a way that QLS can detect.