Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Super resolution of whole cells using a combination of microscopy techniques

14 March 2020

From All Angles

When you only see one photo from a particular angle, it’s easy to be misled. That’s a limitation of some microscopy techniques. They've developed vastly from the first microscope, but some, like light microscopes that visualise artificially fluorescent molecules, can only reveal some elements at a time, while others, like electron microscopes, make it hard to distinguish what’s what. A new approach combines these two techniques to provide brilliant, three-dimensional views of both individual structures and their place in their environment. In this video key proteins are visualised through a light microscope (green and purple) and electron microscopy images (orange) reveal structural detail of developing brain cells adhering to each other and finding their way. Applying this technique to other structures in the body may help reveal the nanoscale relationships at the centre of disease development, and ultimately highlight potential new avenues for treatment.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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