Planar imaging

3D cultures of pancreatic tumor cells are embedded in agarose for imaging with light sheet-based fluorescence microscopy. Credit: Francesco Pampaloni / EMBL" />3D cultures of pancreatic tumor cells are embedded in agarose for imaging with light sheet-based fluorescence microscopy. Credit: Francesco Pampaloni / EMBL User: Ernst Stelzer, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heid

Josh P. Roberts
May 31, 2008
<figcaption>3D cultures of pancreatic tumor cells are embedded in agarose for imaging with light sheet-based fluorescence microscopy. Credit: Francesco Pampaloni / EMBL</figcaption>
3D cultures of pancreatic tumor cells are embedded in agarose for imaging with light sheet-based fluorescence microscopy. Credit: Francesco Pampaloni / EMBL

User:
Ernst Stelzer, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg

Project:
Imaging biophysical properties of living organelles, cells, tissues, and organisms in three dimensions

Problem:
Current microscopy techniques for 3-D fluorescence imaging, such as two-photon and confocal microscopy, require long exposures to light sources that inflict damage on the specimens.

Solution:
Stelzer created a specialized imaging system that uses a planar "light sheet" to illuminate the specimens - single cells to zebrafish embryos.

He cultures cells in a cylinder of scaffolding material such as collagen or Matrigel, inside a cylinder of agarose. When it's time to image his specimen, he sets the cylinder vertically on a specially-adapted microscope that has...