Navigation Links
MIT creates 3-D images of living cell
Date:8/13/2007

CAMBRIDGE, MA - A new imaging technique developed at MIT has allowed scientists to create the first 3D images of a living cell, using a method similar to the X-ray CT scans doctors use to see inside the body.

The technique, described in a paper published in the Aug. 12 online edition of Nature Methods, could be used to produce the most detailed images yet of what goes on inside a living cell without the help of fluorescent markers or other externally added contrast agents, said Michael Feld, director of MIT's George R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory and a professor of physics.

Accomplishing this has been my dream, and a goal of our laboratory, for several years, said Feld, senior author of the paper. For the first time the functional activities of living cells can be studied in their native state.

Using the new technique, his team has created three-dimensional images of cervical cancer cells, showing internal cell structures. They've also imaged C. elegans, a small worm, as well as several other cell types.

The researchers based their technique on the same concept used to create three-dimensional CT (computed tomography) images of the human body, which allow doctors to diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT images are generated by combining a series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken as the X-ray source rotates around the object.

You can reconstruct a 3D representation of an object from multiple images taken from multiple directions, said Wonshik Choi, lead author of the paper and a Spectroscopy Laboratory postdoctoral associate.

Cells don't absorb much visible light, so the researchers instead created their images by taking advantage of a property known as refractive index. Every material has a well-defined refractive index, which is a measure of how much the speed of light is reduced as it passes through the material. The higher the index, the slower the light travels.

The researchers made their measurements using a technique known as interferometry, in which a light wave passing through a cell is compared with a reference wave that doesn't pass through it. A 2D image containing information about refractive index is thus obtained.

To create a 3D image, the researchers combined 100 two-dimensional images taken from different angles. The resulting images are essentially 3D maps of the refractive index of the cell's organelles. The entire process took about 10 seconds, but the researchers recently reduced this time to 0.1 seconds.

The team's image of a cervical cancer cell reveals the cell nucleus, the nucleolus and a number of smaller organelles in the cytoplasm. The researchers are currently in the process of better characterizing these organelles by combining the technique with fluorescence microscopy and other techniques.

One key advantage of the new technique is that it can be used to study live cells without any preparation, said Kamran Badizadegan, principal research scientist in the Spectroscopy Laboratory and assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, and one of the authors of the paper. With essentially all other 3D imaging techniques, the samples must be fixed with chemicals, frozen, stained with dyes, metallized or otherwise processed to provide detailed structural information.

When you fix the cells, you can't look at their movements, and when you add external contrast agents you can never be sure that you haven't somehow interfered with normal cellular function, said Badizadegan.

The current resolution of the new technique is about 500 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, but the team is working on improving the resolution. We are confident that we can attain 150 nanometers, and perhaps higher resolution is possible, Feld said. We expect this new technique to serve as a complement to electron microscopy, which has a resolution of approximately 10 nanometers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Deficiency of growth hormone and IGF-1 reduces cancer and kidney disease, but creates other problems
2. Govt Creates Gene Database of Normal Human Tissues
3. NIH creates nationwide network of molecular libraries screening centers
4. Purdue creates new low-cost system to detect bacteria
5. Brazil creates buffer zone around coral reefs off Atlantic coast
6. Hopkins scientists show hallucinogen in mushrooms creates universal mystical experience
7. MIT creates 3-D scaffold for growing stem cells
8. Climate change creates dramatic decline in red-winged black bird population
9. How badger culling creates conditions for spread of bovine TB
10. New MRI technique quickly builds 3-D images of knees
11. Everything in its place: Researchers identify brain cells used to categorize images
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/21/2016)... 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today that ... of principal product architect and that Jon ... customer development. Both will report directly to ... moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product ... customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... York , June 15, 2016 ... new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application ... Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  ... 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated to ... USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and ... business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ ... project. This collaboration will result in greater convenience ... credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow and ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university ... to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning ... New York City . ... showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the ... MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, ... Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I ... President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free ... and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, ... poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA ...
Breaking Biology Technology: