Lung disease is usually accompanied by changes to the lung’s microstructure. The spongy tissue of a healthy lung is generally considered to be a homogeneous material consisting of millions of alveoli. The localised breakdown of alveolar walls can be an early indicator of a host of diseases.
Developing a method for quantifying the heterogeneity of a slice of lung tissue could well be a valuable tool for early disease detection.
A computed tomography (CT) scan of a lung can be used to tell the story of how much diversity there is in each region of the lung. Smaller boxes show regions where higher variation occurs.