Single Plane Illumination Microscopy
The Zebra fish is rapidly establishing itself as an import model for many biological studies. They are easier to keep than more conventional animal models, can be readily manipulated genetically and, from an imaging perspective, are basically transparent. This project is taking the original SPIM microscope developed by Ernst Stelzer which uses a sheet of light to generate fluorescence that is subsequently viewed perpendicularly to the light sheet. This enables optically sectioned images to be recorded at high speed to build up a three-dimensional data set. We are using this system to explore heart biology, but the heart is in constant motion. We have thus developed an optical method to freeze the motion of the heart and synchronise the imaging system to record an optical section when the heart is in the correct point in its cycle, effectively freezing the motion of the heart without chemically stopping it. This work is linked with researchers in Newcastle (Dr Bill Chaudhry) and Prof. Deborah Henderson; Edinburgh (Prof. John Mullins) and Harvard (Dr Calum MacRea).
We are looking to improve the imaging based upon our expertise in Adaptive Optics and also to use the system to explore lens development in a fish in which the lens membranes express GFP. We have also applied the imaging method to developing plants.
Contact: Professor John Girkin