3-D Microscopy Technique Visualises Cells In Real Time

Nobel prize winning scientist Eric Betzig has already developed new forms of fluorescence microscopy, but has now led a team in  creating lattice light-sheet microscopy; a technique which can image almost any cell function in stunning real time, without damaging cells. 

The development means watching dynamic cellular processes like mitosis, or tracking individual molecules around a cell is now feasible. We have great ways of tracking slower processes, or gaining frozen snapshots of cells at work, but real time imaging has been exceedingly difficult until now. 

Tracking a cell in different phases of the cell cycle Credit: Science

"Although structural imaging is certainly informative, a more-complete understanding of how inanimate molecules assemble to create animate life requires high-resolution imaging across all four dimensions of space-time simultaneously"

 

How does the imaging work?

The technique essentially takes multiple 2-D slices and then pieces together the images as a 3-D moving image. Each frame is distilled from thousands of images. 

"Everywhere you point this thing, you're going to learn something new"

Read more at Motherboard