In the past, scientists looking to study cells have had to rely on techniques that can damage or alter the delicate structures inside. But a new method developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a much clearer and more precise way to image cells without causing any damage.
The technique, called COLM3D, uses a type of microscope that can take pictures at resolutions up to 1,000 times better than a standard light microscope. COLM3D is also able to image samples that are not perfectly flat, which is often the case with cells.
The researchers used COLM3D to study the structure of mitochondria, the organelles that produce energy for cells. They were able to clearly see the various parts of the mitochondria and how they are arranged.
This new technique opens up a whole new world of possibilities for studying cells and other delicate structures. With COLM3D, scientists will be able to glean new insights into how cells work and how they are affected by disease.
A new study has found a way to take clearer and more precise pictures of cells than ever before. The findings, published in the journal Nature Methods, could help researchers better understand how diseases develop and how to target treatments.
The technique, called expansion microscopy, involves taking a small sample of cells and then growing them in a gel that expands as it dries. This allows the cells to be spread out so that they can be imaged more clearly.
The researchers used the technique to image cells from the brains of mice. They were able to see details that had previously been invisible, such as the fine branches of neurons.
The expansion microscopy technique could be used to image any type of cell, from those in the brain to those in the immune system. It could also be used to study how cells change over time, for example, during the development of a disease.
The technique is still in the early stages of development, but the researchers are hopeful that it could one day be used in the clinic to help diagnose and treat diseases.