Ernst Stelzer, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg
Imaging biophysical properties of living organelles, cells, tissues, and organisms in three dimensions
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.
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...