Contrast agents

To create contrast we must use a dye that stains the thing we are interested in. The stain must be bright, it must be visible through human skin if necessary, and ideally we would to be able to judge how dark the stain is. Twice as dark should mean twice as much stuff.

Contrast agents can work on two scales: microscopic and whole body. Click on the links below to find out more about each one.

Microscopes look inside cells and help us understand the detailed biology.
Imaging looks inside a whole person to help us understand that person's disease.












We've also included a section on the development of imaging from the earliest x-ray pictures to modern functional imaging.