May. 27, 2014
Like our own bodies, cells have their own skeletons called ‘cytoskeletons' and are made of proteins instead of bones. These network-like structures maintain the cell's shape, provide mechanical support, and are involved in critical processes of the cell's lifecycle. The cytoskeleton is an object of intense scientific and medical research, which often requires being able to observe it directly in cells. Ideally, this would involve highly-fluorescent molecules that can bind cytoskeletal proteins with high specificity without being toxic to the cell. Publishing in Nature Methods, EPFL scientists have exploited the properties of a new fluorescent molecule, also developed at EPFL, to generate two powerful probes for the imaging of the cytoskeleton with unprecedented resolution. These probes pave the way for the easier and higher quality imaging of cells, offering many scientific and medical advantages.
moreMay. 16, 2014
The University of Albuquerque has designed a hyperspectral microscope (HSM) around an Andor iXon 860 high-speed EMCCD detection system to visualize membrane receptor dynamics at the molecular level in living cells.
The HSM provides acquisition rates of 27 fps over a 28 square micrometer field of view with each pixel collecting 128 spectral channels, allowing the determination of stoichiometry and dynamics of small oligomers unmeasurable by any other technique.
moreApr. 09, 2014
Extended live cell imaging requires stringent control of temperature, humidity, CO2 and O2 levels for sample integrity and focus position. In this short video, Olympus introduces its cellVivo incubation system for precise and ergonomic environmental control of advanced live cell imaging.
moreApr. 08, 2014
Spectrally coded optical nano-sectioning (SpecON) is a high-resolution microscopy technique that translates spatial (position) information of fluorescent markers into spectral (color) information providing a protein localization precision of up to 5-10 nm in live cells. The key element is a thin metal-dielectric coating on a microscope slide. The biocompatible design is such that the distance-dependent spectral "fingerprint" of fluorophores can be used to monitor their relative distance from the coating to study the positions and dynamics of key proteins in cell motility.
moreApr. 02, 2014
A team of scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory synthesized a chemical activity-based probe (ABP) that can provide new information about how living cells function. The new ABP is designed to enter a living cell without interacting with anything until it enters a specific organelle: the lysosome. This proof-of-concept ABP then labels only functionally active enzymes called cathepsins, which are cysteine proteases, in the lysosome. Using proteomics and super-resolution microscopy to view these labeled enzymes, the scientists now are able to see organellar activity. Their work, which demonstrates the ability to manipulate chemistry to better understand biology, has been published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
moreApr. 01, 2014
In the past two decades, light microscopy has seen a tremendous improvement with super-resolution techniques. Many of the super-resolution microscopes (3D-SIM, STED, and PALM/STORM) are now available in a commercial solution, and are entering labs and facilities worldwide. This offers an important step forward in the field of research in biology, but when not used in optimal conditions, those powerful techniques can give rise to artefacts. Here we focus on parameters that can deeply influence the image quality for 3D-SIM and the next challenges for this technique.
moreMar. 26, 2014
The epithelium lines the organs of the human body. In the skin and the intestine as well as in the kidney, this cell layer forms a barrier that regulates the exchange of molecules like hormones and nutrients. The Freiburg biophysicist Dr. Roland Thünauer and junior professor Dr. Winfried Römer, Institute of Biology II and member of the Cluster of Excellence BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies of the University of Freiburg, have discovered a new mechanism by which proteins are transported to the outer membrane in epithelial cells.
moreJan. 29, 2014
Living cells are ready for their close-ups, thanks to a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures - all with conventional microscopes and white light. Called white-light diffraction tomography (WDT), the imaging technique opens a window into the life of a cell without disturbing it and could allow cellular biologists unprecedented insight into cellular processes, drug effects and stem cell differentiation. The team of University of Illinois researchers, led by electrical and computer engineering and bioengineering professor Gabriel Popescu, published their results in Nature Photonics.
moreJan. 25, 2014
A breakthrough technique for super-resolution 3D medical imaging of living cells has been developed by researchers at Swinburne University of Technology. The new technique potentially could aid in minimally-invasive surgery and the early detection of cancer. The research is published in Scientific Reports.
moreJan. 17, 2014
Scientists from the University of Göttingen have developed a new technique which allows for observing the motion of living cells with a resolution that hadn't been possible before. The new optical method enables scientists to trace the motion of individual cells with the spatial resolution of a millionth part of a millimeter in real time. Until now, the changes in a living cell's shape could only be measured with the accuracy of a little better than a thousandth part of a millimeter. The details were published in the journal Nature Photonics.