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Regina Bailey

Live Cell Imaging

By February 9, 2013

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Using a holographic microscope and a rotating laser beam, this image of a full living cell can be computed in minutes.
Credit: Yann Cotte - Fatih Toy - EPFL

Researchers have developed a method for obtaining 3-D images of living cells without the use of contrast dyes or fluorescents. The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) researchers used a holographic microscope, a laser beam, and a visualization computer to build 3-D images of an entire cell. Using their device, they were able to capture, at a rate of one image per minute, the growth of a neuron.

According to researcher Yann Cotte, "We can observe in real time the reaction of a cell that is subjected to any kind of stimulus. This opens up all kinds of new opportunities, such as studying the effects of pharmaceutical substances at the scale of the individual cell." The researchers state that their technique allows them to produce complete cell images that can be dissected to reveal internal organelles such as the nucleus.

Learn more about this study, see:


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