Using technology that enables satellites to study Earth’s surface, Indiana scientists have created a system to verify the composition of cells and tissue.

The technology from Purdue University researchers is expected to become valuable for medical diagnostics and scientific applications.

The method — which analyzes separate colors in an object or surface — has been applied to the field of flow cytometry, or analyzing cells that are contained in a liquid flowing past a laser beam, said J. Paul Robinson, a professor of cytomics in the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Flow cytometry has been an important analytical tool for research and medicine for many years, said Robinson, who also is a professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. "We have now modified this tool so that much more information can be gleaned in the same amount of time.

Within five to 10 years, almost all of the instruments used in flow cytometry will have converted to this technology because it’s smarter and better and cheaper, said Robinson.

The recent research findings were presented Tuesday in Quebec City, Canada, during the 23rd International Congress of the International Society for Analytical Cytology.