High-speed, high resolution optical instruments for validation and testing

1. High throughput screens will produce transformed organisms that need to be tested with microscopes with high spatial and temporal resolution. These instruments will include a multichannel laser point scanning confocal microscope and high speed 3D camera systems.

2. The acquisition of both the high-throughput and high resolution instruments will extend the development of advanced imaging in the OpenPlant Labs. Both Cambridge and JIC/TSL are centres of expertise for plant imaging.

High resolution microscopy

Point-scanning confocal microscopes provide a simple means of validating or further analysing samples that have emerged from a screen. Modern instruments are highly flexible, easy to use, and produce very high quality images where resolution is only limited by diffraction or scattering. In addition, these measurements can be obtained from living tissue, and samples can be maintained through the imaging process.

Multidimensional visualisation

Confocal microscopes exclude light from outside the chosen focal plane, and produce fine optical sections. A Z-series of optical sections can be used to reconstruct the 3D shape and internal details of an intact sample. In addition, time-lapse observations allow examination and measurement of dynamic processes. In addition, multiple camera systems can be used to map 3D events, and a new generation of CMOS cameras is allowing examination of high-speed microscopic events in vivo.

Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre (CAIC)

The microscopes and high-throughput imaging instruments in the facility will provide a needed extension to facilities available through the University. CAIC has been set up recently, in order to coordinate resources devoted to biological imaging - and provides an excellent link for this proposal.

Image resources in Cambridge

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