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New light-sheet fluorescence microscopy set up allows biological phenomena to be more easily captured

07 January 2021

Lighting Up Biology

Imagine shining a torch into a dark room. To uncover everything inside you’d need to painstakingly scan left to right, up and down. Now imagine an entire wall of light slicing through the room – suddenly you can see a lot more in a single glimpse. That’s the difference between traditional microscopy and light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM). But LSFM has its drawbacks. Samples must be positioned at 90° and special microscopy equipment is needed. Now researchers present a type of LSFM called oblique plane microscopy (OPM) which they adapted with a new setup. This allowed samples to be positioned flat, any standard upright microscope to be used and more detailed images to be captured. The team showcased how this new approach could capture complex biological processes, such as the immune cell pictured grabbing hold of a target cell to destroy it.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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