Scientists at the University of Nottingham have applied an intracellular ultrasound method. With its help, it became possible to penetrate into the structure of the cell and study its behavior. The new method became an alternative to optical methods, for the development of which their creators received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014.
The method of phonon imaging, developed by British scientists, uses sound waves that are shorter than optical waves, so they are absolutely safe for living cells. Tomography based on this technique allows you to obtain valuable data on the internal structure of cells in a degree of detail that you could only dream of before.
The potential of a conventional optical microscope in this sense is limited, since the size of the smallest object that can be viewed with it is limited by the wavelength of light.
Unlike light waves, sound waves do not emit energy that destroys cells. This means that British scientists have learned to use shorter wavelengths to see the finest details with higher resolution without harming the cellular structure.