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Cellular and Nuclear Mechanics
Nov. 13, 2010

Cellular and Nuclear Mechanics

Atomic force microscopy can be used to characterize cells and cell nuclei mechanically under physiological conditions by local indentation. Mechanical properties of cells and cell nuclei reflect the status of the the actin network and the nuclear lamina respectively. For cells, the elastic modulus can be obtained by fitting the non-linear Hertz model to the force indentation curves. In the case of cell nuclei, an effective spring constant can be obtained from a linear fit to the force curves. more
The Neuromuscular Junction in the Amphioxus Myotomes
Nov. 05, 2010

The Neuromuscular Junction in the Amphioxus Myotomes

The peculiar morphology of amphioxus segmental muscles was studied with great interest for more than a century. This was mainly due to the possible relation of the amphioxus to the ancestral chordates and vertebrates [6]. These muscles constitute the bulk of the animal consisting of about sixty V-shaped segments (myomeres or myotomes) separated by thin connective tissue septa called myosepta or myocommata [6, 15]. more
Correction of Chromatic Aberration
Nov. 01, 2010

Correction of Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is one of the main image defects in optical systems. This is caused by the dispersion (i.e. the change in refractive index with wavelength) of any optical media. As a result, a simple lens can be perfectly focused for one wavelength, but badly out of focus for other wavelengths. This defect must be controlled, particularly in demanding fields such as microscopy. Achromatic and apochromatic systems offer suitable solutions. more
Dynamic Positioning with Nanometer Accuracy
Oct. 25, 2010

Dynamic Positioning with Nanometer Accuracy

The best possible positioning accuracy is essential in many technical applications. Examples range from semiconductor manufacturing and biotechnology to optical metrology, microscopy and other imaging methods. Nanopositioning systems with piezoelectric drives are qualified for such applications and due to their short response times and good repeatability mean there is often no serious alternative.
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Light Sources for Epifluorescence Microscopy
Oct. 18, 2010

Light Sources for Epifluorescence Microscopy

If one could „bake" an ideal light source for widefield epifluorescence microscopy, the recipe would include many ingredients of the LED-based solutions which have recently hit the market: they are compact, long-lived and stable, they can be turned on and off in microseconds, their intensity is easily controlled and they are reasonably bright when large areas are to be illuminated under a microscope. Nevertheless, there are still many areas where arc lamps are a better choice. more
AFM-IR Enables Nanoscale Chemical Spectroscopy
Oct. 13, 2010

AFM-IR Enables Nanoscale Chemical Spectroscopy

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been enormously successful addressing problems in basic nanoscale research as well as applied problems in materials science and engineering. The technique as part of a family of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) variants has been widely credited with enabling the multi-billion dollar research investments in nanoscience and nanotechnology. However, a clear gap in AFM capabilities is the ability to chemically characterize regions of the sample. more
Architecture of the Crustacean Cuticle
Oct. 05, 2010

Architecture of the Crustacean Cuticle

Imaging of biomineralized matrices is challenging due to complex interconnections of organic and inorganic components forming their architecture. In this study histochemistry, fluorescence microscopy, TEM and AFM were used in combination to obtain related data on structure, composition and mechanical properties of extracellular calcified organic matrix constituting crustacean exoskeleton (fig. 1). more
Bridging Microscopes
Sep. 27, 2010

Bridging Microscopes

A comprehensive understanding of cellular function on the microscopic level in a whole cell or organism is the ultimate goal in system biology. Where system biology methods isolate individual molecular clusters for further investigations [1], microscopy offers the potential to directly "see" the complexes [2] ideally in their natural environment [3]. more
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