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$1.1 million NSF grant to fund research in advanced light microscopy at UCLA
Date:11/2/2007

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.1 million Major Research Instrumentation grant for the Advanced Light Microscopy core laboratory at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. The award will facilitate the acquisition of the first commercially available super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) confocal laser scanning microscope for nanoscopic resolution of biological samples.

The device will be used by a multidisciplinary research team with expertise in physics, chemistry, imaging, genetics and molecular biology led by principal investigator Shimon Weiss, UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and co-principal investigators Michael Grunstein, UCLA professor of biological chemistry, and Dr. Laurent Bentolila, UCLA senior researcher in chemistry and biochemistry. The team will collaborate with Stefan W. Hell, director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany.

Researchers will use the microscope to investigate molecular assemblies at the nanoscale including deciphering the structure of chromatin and its packaging into chromosomes in the cell and to study cell signaling, viral and bacterial infection pathways, neural plasticity and many other important biological questions. They will also develop a new family of STED probes based on semiconductor nanocrystals.

"We have assembled a group of multidisciplinary UCLA users who will significantly advance their research by making use of this instrument," said Weiss, who is also a member of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA.

Developed by Leica Microsystems, the microscope is uniquely designed for nanoscopic resolution of biological and artificial samples. Despite using regular lenses and visible light, the microscope is not limited by diffraction and diplays a x10 resolution improvement over conventional light microscopes.

STED microscopy provides an alternative to electron microscopy because it ca
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Contact: Jennifer Marcus
jmarcus@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-4839
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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