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Friday
Oct112013

Using confocal microscopy for fluorescence imaging

Confocal microscopy is an essential optical tool in biological research which can be used to study cellular structures as well as sub-cellular components. The main advantages of confocal are the elimination of out-of-focus glare that leads increased resolution and the ability to collect serial optical sections (z-sections) from thick specimens. Hence this method generates better (and certainly prettier!) images than regular widefield microscopy (transmitted light or epifluorescence).

My research work in the Hooker lab, is focused on activity based small molecule fluorescent probes for histone deacetylase (HDAC) imaging. Confocal microscopy has become one of the very useful techniques that I use for HDAC-probe imaging in HeLa-cervical cancer cells. It allows a more precise view of cellular components and thus obtained images permit the development of an advanced understanding of the probe/enzyme of interest.

I have been using the Zeiss LSM510 laser scanning confocal microscope at the Ragon Institute and it’s an enormous help in taking my research project further. If any of you are interested in using a confocal microscope or the microscopy facility, I encouraged you go ahead and do so.

Here’s the link to the Ragon center microscopy core.

http://www2.massgeneral.org/aids/microscopy/introduction.htm

I hope this would be a useful bit of info! After all, by using all the technology and tools available to us, we are unraveling the mysteries of biology and taking science one step further.

- Himashinie

 

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