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  • Lab Combines Light, Electron Microscopy Devices
Aug 2013
WARSAW, Poland, Aug. 21, 2013 — Nencki Institute’s new Neurobiology Centre has installed a combination of light and electron microscopy devices to help researchers better understand the structure, function and capabilities of the human brain.

The center’s Laboratory of Imaging Tissue Structure and Function, established as part of the Centre for Preclinical Research and Technology, will complete assignments for Nencki scientists and outside research groups as well as attempt to further the development of microscopic imaging. Three-dimensional mappings of nervous cell internal structure as well as microscopy of brain observation in living organisms are both capabilities of the laboratory.

The combination of confocal fluorescence microscopy with electron microscopy will allow scientists from the Centre for Neurobiology at Nencki Institute better understand the structure and function of nerve cells and tissues. Pictured is Dr. Tytus Bernas, head of the Laboratory Imaging of Tissue Structure and Function. Courtesy of The Nencki Institute, Gregory Krzyzewski.

“We successfully combined many microscopic techniques in one laboratory, starting from those based on the analysis of practically all parameters of visible light through imaging techniques based on an electron beam,” said Dr. Tytus Bernas, head of the lab. “Such an approach will help us obtain more comprehensive images of cell and tissue physiology and more precise images of their structure. We will also be able to collect information at the microscopic level about what is going on in a live nervous tissue.”

Laboratory research is conducted using confocal and two-photon excitation microscopy, time-resolved imaging, superresolution and correlation microscopy. The fluorescence confocal microscope operates in tandem with the electron microscope and combines high-resolution characteristics for electron-imaging techniques with the biological information provided by light-obtained images.

The lab’s microscope allows researchers to observe changes in the brains of mice and rats in real time, helping the study of brain plasticity. This field of study plays an important role in the mental processes related to learning, memory, cognitive aging, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as recuperation after a stroke.

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