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Lab combines light, electron microscopy devices

Oct 2013
The new Neurobiology Center at the Nencki Institute in Warsaw, Poland, 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 Center 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 nerve-cell internal structure as well as microscopic brain observation in living organisms are both capabilities of the laboratory.

Dr. Tytus Bernas, head of the Laboratory of Imaging Tissue Structure and Function. Courtesy of the Nencki Institute, Gregory Krzyzewski.

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 of 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, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as recuperation after a stroke.

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