ANALYTICAL AND LABORATORY EQUIPMENT 15
Imaging system probes cancer cell mystery
Microscopy is a key technology in laboratory sciences and the latest releases show that this trend is continuing. Sean Ottewell reports.
La microscopie est une technologie clé dans les sciences du laboratoire et les communiqués les plus récents révèlent que cette tendance continue. Rapports de Sean Ottewell.
In wissenschaftlichen Labors ist die Mikroskopie ein unverzichtbares Verfahren. Die neuesten Entwicklungen legen dar, dass sich dieser Trend weiter fortsetzt. Ein Bericht von Sean Ottewell.
top-of-the-range DeltaVision Core microscopy imaging system
supplied by Preston-based Image Solutions (UK) (Imsol) is at the heart of efforts being made by a team of researchers to unravel the mystery of how human cells turn cancerous.
Te imaging system, which is designed to increase the ability to look at more probes and samples over longer periods of time than any competitive solution, is being used at the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre (MIB).
Tis flagship research institute within the University of Manchester houses more than 60 research groups which can draw on expertise in engineering, physical sciences, life
In particular, the group is very interested in the regulation of cell division. Hence the need for an extremely powerful imaging solution that can handle both fixed and live cells.
According to Jackson the two key advantages of the DeltaVision Core system are the speed and sensitivity that it brings to the group’s two main activities: live cell imaging and nuclear structure remodelling during differentiation (Fig. 1). In the first, the imaging system is used to monitor the dynamic behaviour and stability of the structural sub-units of the chromosomes known as DNA foci. “Tese contain up to a million DNA base pairs each, are probably modular, and change in structure and chromatin density as different
human cell models in an attempt to unravel the processes at work during cell differentiation.
Here, the cells are dispersed in a complex 3D matrix in which they proliferate and form 3D balls. Tese balls eventually polarise, the central cells dying by apoptosis, to form hollow structures about 250µm across known as acini.
By labelling these cells, the scientists can use the DeltaVision Core for highly-detailed multi-channel imaging of the changes to 3D structure during the 14–21 day development and differentiation phase.
“In both situations it is important to have a very uniform and low power light source that allows image capture without damaging the sample. Te Xenon source on the DeltaVision with appropriate filters gives excellent illumination that is much less damaging than the equivalent laser illumination using confocal microscopy,” he added.
Right: Human breast cells stained to highlight nucleolar activity within the 3D culture environment.
Image courtesy of Dr Apolinar Maya-Mendoza
sciences and medical sciences. Imsol’s DeltaVision Core is central to the activities of Dr Dean Jackson, a cancer biologist within MIB’s life sciences section. He heads up a small group investigating the links between structure and function within mammalian cells.
nuclear functions are performed. However, they are very difficult to analyse and require imaging technologies with good speed, sensitivity and resolution,” he said.
Te second focus for the group involves the use of mouse and
For example, the Olympus FV1000 is a new generation imaging system for living cells and offers a host of advanced features that enable state-of-the-art research projects to be conducted with ease. Te system incorporates two laser scanners in a single compact design for simultaneous excitation and observation.
From Olympus, the FluoView series of laser scanning confocal microscopes offers a choice of several system configurations that are able to meet the needs of an individual researcher or a number of researchers with a variety of different applications.
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