Navigation Links
Synergy between biology and physics drives cell-imaging technology
Date:6/1/2008

Developing techniques to image the complex biological systems found at the sub-cellular level has traditionally been hampered by divisions between the academic fields of biology and physics. However, a new interdisciplinary zeal has seen a number of exciting advances in super-resolution imaging technologies.

In the June issue of Physics World, Paul OShea, a biophysicist at the University of Nottingham, Michael Somekh, an optical engineer at Nottinghams Institute of Biophysics, Imaging & Optical Science, and William Barnes, professor of photonics at the University of Exeter, outline these new techniques and explore why their development is an endeavour that requires the best efforts of both biologists and physicists.

The traditional division between the disciplines has found common ground in the effort to image cellular functions. While some living cells are larger than 80 micrometres across, important and interesting cellular processes - such as signalling between cells - can take place at length scales of less than one micrometre.

This poses serious challenges for traditional imaging techniques such as fluorescence microscopy, whereby optical microscopes are used to observe biological structures that have been tagged with fluorescent molecules that emit photons when irradiated with light of a specific wavelength, as these offer a resolution of at best 200 nanometres. Increasingly, biologists have turned to physicists for help in breaking through this diffraction limit.

The result has been the development in recent years of several novel techniques to extend the reach of fluorescence microscopy. These include methods such as stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED), stochastic reconstruction microscopy (STORM), photo-activated localization microscopy (PALM) and structured illumination microscopy, all of which are capable of resolving structures as small as 50 nanometres across. These techniques build on theoretical and experimental tools common to physics that allow the physical diffraction limits of light to be broken.

As the authors of the article explain, What is fascinating is that the experimental needs of biology are driving developments in imaging technology, while advances in imaging technology are in turn inspiring new biological questions. Many of these developments are also going hand in hand with a revolution that is taking place in biological thinking, which intimately involves physicists.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joseph Winters
joseph.winters@iop.org
44-020-747-04815
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
2. St. Jude influenza survey uncovers key differences between bird flu and human flu
3. Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
4. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
5. Research explains link between cholesterol and heart disease
6. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
7. Weight gain between first and second pregnancies associated with increased odds of male second child
8. Evidence of a relationship between swimming babies and infections
9. Of mice and men: similarities between skeletons of both
10. Analysis of breast and colon cancer genes finds many areas of differences between tumors
11. Fossilized cashew nuts reveal Europe was important route between Africa and South America
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... UAE, April 20, 2016 The ... as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all ... fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration authorization ... access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access ... into the building installations offer considerable freedom of design ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait biometrics ... of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... angles, which can be used to compute factors ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... PBI-Gordon Corporation is pleased to announce Dave Loecke ... his 15-year career with PBI-Gordon, Dave has served in a wide variety of roles. ... the development and launch of many of PBI-Gordon’s most successful products. , “Dave has ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... LAKE LINDEN, Mich. , May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of Des Moines, Iowa is ... blooms in Lake Erie and ... nutrients is key to preventing this widespread issue. ... Michigan,s Upper Peninsula, developed a new, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... Medistem Panama Inc. at the City of Knowledge in Panama, a 6 ... cells in the US earlier this year following FDA approval of a second ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives ... to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: