New processing technique means super-resolution microscopy images can be reconstructed and viewed in real time
Wanting to know more about the dark world inside our cells, microscopists are usually torn by a choice – do they aim for a detailed 3D picture or capture a quick, but less-detailed video? Super-resolved structured illumination microscopy (SR-SIM), for example, captures high-resolution pictures of the tiniest aspects of a living cell, but these images require processing which usually limits how fast pictures can be snapped. Here though, a new technique uses algorithms to offload the processing work to a separate graphics processing unit – an example of GPU-acceleration captures this image of a living bone cancer cell in a fraction of a second, with its nucleus highlighted in blue, mitochondria (green) and cytoskeleton (pink). Using SR-SIM to take videos has huge potential – from recording the speedy movements of tiny microbes in living cells to allowing researchers to quickly 'screen' samples based on tell-tale signs of health and disease.
Written by John Ankers
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