New Dimension - Exel: Drexel University's Research Magazine
 
 

_BODY OF RESEARCH Cell Imaging

New Dimension
Last year, Drexel acquired one of only a few DeltaVision OMX microscopes in existence. This uniquely powerful instrument is able to photograph live organisms, in real-time, across three dimensions — all in super-high resolution.

_Elias Spiliotis

Spiliotis is an associate professor and director of the Cell Imaging Center in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The deltavision omx microscope is a cutting-edge super-resolution light microscope capable of capturing time-lapse images of fixed and live biological samples in 3D, making it a boundary-breaking technological advance in the field of microscopy. Drexel owns one of only 60 in existence.

Using structured illumination and single-molecule localization, this microscope is able to exceed the theoretical limit of resolution, providing two- to four-fold better magnification than conventional light microscopes with detail comparable to that of an electron microscope. This advanced instrument opens the door to a new world of biomedical discovery, providing unprecedented three-dimensional clarity and resolution to the study of biological events such as the budding of a virus or cellular division.

The DeltaVision OMX will be available to the local research community through a Web-based reservation system run by the Cell Imaging Center, a facility serving Drexel’s research and teaching community.

_PHOTO_GALLERY ENLARGE

1 _EMBRYONIC RAT HIPPOCAMPAL NEURON

Anatomical features of an embryonic rat hippocampal neuron. High magnification and resolution capture the distribution of two proteins within a neuronal dendrite (top), which is the compartment that receives signals from other neurons, and the distribution of dendrites and axons within a larger field of neurons (middle). Synapses are formed at the points of contact between axons and dendrites and are shown in high resolution (bottom) at the points of overlap between the proteins.

2 _INSIDE A CANINE KIDNEY CELL

Cell is stained with antibodies and dyes that label two different types of filaments: actin (red) and septins (green). Understanding how these filaments function during cell movement is critical for the treatment of metastatic cancer.

3 _HUMAN CANCER AND CANINE KIDNEY CELLS

The actin skeletal filaments (red) and subcellular organelles (grey) of human cervical cancer and canine kidney cells. Studying how these cells adhere with one another and how they move apart is important for understanding the cause of cancer.

4 _STRUCTURE CONNECTING TWO COMPARTMENTS OF A DIVIDING CELL

Three views of the bridge-like structure that connects the two compartments of a dividing cell. The severing of this bridge marks the birth of two new cells. Understanding the mechanisms that mediate this severing is important because cancer can arise from cells that contain an abnormal number of chromosomes due to unregulated cutting of their intercellular bridge. The microtubule skeleton (yellow) and rings of a membrane protein (blue) that constricts the bridge for its final severing are shown at high resolution.