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Columbia Scientists Develop 3D Microscope for Live Cell Imaging

Photonics.com
Oct 2017
BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Oct. 2, 2017 — A team of scientists at Columbia University have successfully developed the Swept Confocally Aligned Planar Excitation (SCAPE) 3D microscope, which eliminates the need to mount samples or other special preparation and is capable of imaging freely moving living samples in real-time at speeds 10 to 100 times faster than current laser-scanning microscopes.

SCAPE imaging of mhc-GFP 1st instar Drosophila larvae showing internal heart and peripheral muscles. Courtesy of Matthew Bouchard, Elizabeth Hillman and Cesar Mendes.
SCAPE imaging of mhc-GFP 1st instar Drosophila larvae showing internal heart and peripheral muscles. Courtesy of Matthew Bouchard, Elizabeth Hillman and Cesar Mendes.

Led by Elizabeth Hillman, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), and her graduate student, Matthew Bouchard, the team could advance live cell and whole animal imaging.

“Unlike conventional light-sheet microscopes that utilize a pair of cumbersomely positioned objective lenses, SCAPE uses a single-objective lens with a light sheet sweeping across the field of view to capture 3D images without moving the sample or the objective,” Hillman said. “This combination makes SCAPE extremely fast, versatile and simple to use, as well as surprisingly inexpensive, and could be transformative in bringing the ability to capture high-speed 3D cellular activity to a wide range of living samples. With the Andor Zyla sCMOS camera set to read out 2,560 × 80-μm images at 2,404 fps we have demonstrated the ability of SCAPE to image living organisms including Drosophila melanogaster larvae and zebrafish at up to 48 volumes/s.”

Many further applications for SCAPE are envisioned by the CUMC researchers, including capturing images of cellular replication; function and motion in living tissue; imaging 3D cell cultures; capturing 3D images of dynamics in microfluidic; and flow-cell cytometry structures. These areas may be particularly enhanced by SCAPE as these are applications where molecular biology imaging methods have fallen behind the latest tools and techniques.

BusinesseducationbiophotonicsColumbia Universityswept confocally aligned planar excitationSCAPE3DMicroscopylasersEurope

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