Its potential, however, could still increase significantly due to an invention recently made by a team of interdisciplinary working physicists.
Published as cover story in the current issue of the open access Journal "Optics Express", the researchers from Prof. Käs' group in Leipzig, in collaboration with researchers in Jena and Cambridge present the Optical Cell Rotator (OCR), a novel tool for the contact-free orientation of biological samples using laser radiation.
According to first author Moritz Kreysing the new technology could be the missing key to allow for the realization of single-cell optical tomography, which has been shown in principle but not in any useful implementation.
In contrast to the current standards for 3D imaging of cells, namely confocal and deconvolution microscopy, tomographic imaging provides maximum resolution in all three dimensions. To achieve this feat specimens are rotated stepwise and imaged from multiple angles. Using this data a computer is able to reconstruct a three-dimensional model of the sample containing 2.5 times more information than traditionally accessible.
The Optical Cell Rotator is of fundamental importance in this context for the integrity of living samples. While the orientation of cells previously required their exposure to either strong electric fields or unphysiological mechanical tools, the new device promises a much more gentle handling of the sensitive material. Thus, OCR is probably most useful for the investigation of stem cells, which are notoriously sensitive to handling.http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/viewmedia.cfm?uri=oe-16-21-16984&seq=0
Dr. Bärbel Adams | idw
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At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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