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In-vivo biological imaging at organism sizes beyond current microscopy

21.12.2007, News

A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich, the Helmholtz Munich Center and Harvard University, under the direction of TUM Professor Vasilis Ntziachristos, have recently developed an optical imaging technique that goes beyond modern microscopy methods to allow non-invasive imaging of live insects, fish, and other small animals.

Optical microscopy, developed more than 350 years ago, has been one of the most fundamental tools for biology and diagnostics and continuous to emerge as an important method for visualizing cells and tissues. However, one of the main microscopy limitations is its inability to “see” deeper than half a millimeter under the tissue surface.

“With our method, it becomes possible to image at scales that are inaccessible to modern microscopy and study the dynamics and coordination of evolution and function of many different biologically important species”, Claudio Vinegoni and Daniel Razansky said, two of the key scientists that
developed the method. In this study, the technique successfully imaged the wing development of the fruit fly over a period of several hours, without any harm to the fly. Conventional biological methods instead would have required histological analysis on a large number of dead flies and are not able to render such an accurate picture of time evolution. The method, published in the current issue of Nature Methods, brings therefore an important new dimension in biological research, by allowing the study of many dynamic phenomena over time, without destructive procedures.

The full paper is to be found at:
In vivo imaging of Drosophila melanogaster pupae with mesoscopic fluorescence tomography
Claudio Vinegoni, Chrysoula Pitsouli, Daniel Razansky, Norbert Perrimon, Vasilis Ntziachristos, Nature Methods (09 Dec 2007)

Kontakt: presse@tum.de

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