Light-sheet force microscopy




Measuring the forces of life with light

Biological cells move in three dimensions at different time points at molecular level precision. In order to understand the rapid biomechnical processes at the cellular and molecular levels, new imaging systems are necessary to study of the mechanics and physics at the levels of individual cells and biomolecules. Furthermore, these advances have significant implications for cancer research and treatment.Lately, several new type of light-sheet microscope has begun to show the possibility of 3D imaging at high speeds (Udan et al., 2014). In light sheet microscopy, a sheet of light of the light – sheet microscopy is created using cylindrical lens configurations and digital scanning laser beams, it will pass through the specimen and therefore lead to the fluorescence excitation in a thin plane (Huisken et al., 2004). Since the objective lens is designed to be placed perpendicular (or at certain angle) to the lightsheet, the thin sheet is able to accommodate optical sectioning, which could minimise out of focus signal and therefore provide higher resolution. The three dimensional tomograms can be recorded through moving the sample to produce a z – stack at different z – depths or rotating the sample to record at successive angles (Huisken et al., 2004). The limitations of depth penetration can then be overcame based on this imaging method because of light scatter. Additionally, since the sensitive CCD or CMOS detectors will be used to record the image planes, the image volumes with high resolution and high signal – to – noise are able to be recorded with high speed and the minimised damage. These features of light sheet microscopy therefore provide an ideal method to capture live and florescence imaging. (Udan et al., 2014). However, there are still several challenges in overcoming inherent aberrations that is in homogenous across the sample. Throughout the development of an organism, the shape and contrast of cells varies and lead to all different issue shapes. Since the shaping of tissues and organisms depends on adherence and deformation ability of the cells, the understanding towards the effects of cell – generating force on cell shaping and the force transmission is essential (Bambardeka et al.,2015). By using light – sheet microscopy and mechanical approaches, the tension measurements and mechanical characterization at cell contacts could be measured directly. 

A new type of light sheet microscope system along with precision biomechanical measurement scheme will be required to decipher the intricate biomechanical system rapidly. 


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Optics, Microscopy, Biomechanics

Updated:  8 September 2015/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing