A focus on the really small stuff

- The facility has great expertise from staff who have a lot experience, and this means that users can get expert help, says Head of the Core Facility Bill Louch.

 

What makes The Core Facility for Advanced Light Microscopy at IEMR unique?

– We have an exciting array of microscopes available, with special capabilities. Several of these microscopes are equipped for a technique called super-resolution microscopy, which is an exciting way to see cells in very high detail. This was not possible even a few years ago. Perhaps what is most unique at our Core Facility is our recent ability to perform super-resolution microscopy in live cells. This allows us to see the structure and function of cells at the same time. Plus, the facility has great expertise from staff who have a lot experience, and this means that users can get expert help.

In what fields of research can the equipment be used?

– The microscopes can be used in diverse fields within biology. While many of the Core Facility’s users work in the cardiac field, we have also assisted neuroscientists, pathologists, and immunologists with their imaging experiments. The basic principles that the microscopes use are the same no matter what type of cellular or tissue you’re interested in imaging.

Do you have a personal favorite among the microscopes?

– I am really proud of our newest super-resolution microscope, which we have put together ourselves. Per Andreas Norseng worked together with Postdocs Yufeng Hou and Martin Laasmaa to acquire, and in many cases build, the individual parts. It’s been really satisfying to see it all come together into a working microscope, which allows cutting-edge dSTORM/PALM imaging.

What is the coolest thing you have seen through a microscope-lens?

– Tough question, as we’ve seen so many exciting images from so many users. I think maybe Xin Shen‘s first 3D dSTORM images of the Ryanodine Receptors within cardiomyocytes rank amongst my favourites.

Do you have any new equipment on the horizon?

– We are always on the lookout for new microscopes, and not least, the funding necessary to buy them. We are interested in several new models that allow faster super-resolution imaging. We hope to purchase one of these in the next few years.

 

Read more about the Core Facility for Advanced Light Microscopy at IEMR here.