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Life sciences and clinical instrumentation

LaVision BioTec present advanced life
science microscopy solutions at the 15th
International ELMI Meeting, Sitges, Spain

LaVison BioTec, developers of advanced microscopy solutions for the life sciences, presented workshops on their 2-photon and light sheet microscope systems at the 15th Annual meeting of the European Light Microscopy Initiative in Sitges near Barcelona in Spain.

The 15th annual meeting of the European Light Microscopy Initiative continues the goals of the first meeting in 2001, namely to promote the quickly developing field of light microscopy as a fundamental research tool for the life sciences and to strengthen the channels of communication between researchers and industry. The combination of top level scientific presentations with practical hands-on workshops brings participants from all over the world. LaVision BioTec returned this year with their latest products and applications for the life science microscopist.

Image 1: Maximum intensity projection of a zebra-fish embryo imaged in backward direction with the Horizontal 2-Photon Microscope. The membrane was labeled with eGFP and the nuclei with mCherry. Courtesy of Nadine Peyriéras, Director BioEmergences, Gif sur Yvette, France.

Image 2: Functional principle of the Horizontal 2-Photon Microscope.

Having launched the first commercial light sheet microscope in 2009, LaVision BioTec presented their second generation system which has been inspired by their user's feedback. The UltraMicroscope II utilizes 6 thin light sheets to excite samples while the fluorescence light is detected with a sCMOS equipped macroscope that is mounted perpendicular to the plane illumination. Some of the most relevant clearing protocols like CUBIC, 3DISCO or iDISCO have been developed using the UltraMicroscope platform. It is the only light sheet microscope which can image samples ranging in size from over 1 cm to few µm in aqueous buffers and in organic solvents. The 10x zoom optic allows fast switching in between smallest to highest resolution without changing objective lenses. Different working distances from 4 mm to 10 mm are available.

LaVision BioTec also presented the new 2-photon microscope which includes a new type of sample handling combined with standard 2-photon microscope equipment. Imaging of small samples from different sides can be challenging if they are embedded in a sample holder for upright or inverted microscope stands. In the Horizontal 2-Photon Microscope, the sample is fixed on top of a small tip that can be rotated by 360°. The complete tip-sample system is located in a measurement chamber that can be filled with water or buffer solution to image the sample in its necessary environment. The objective for 2-photon excitation and fluorescence detection is thereby mounted perpendicular to the sample. The defined rotation of the sample and the usage of standard scanning mirrors enable the recording of 3D image stacks from all sides. On the one hand, this increases the imaging depth and on the other hand provides a good optical resolution in all dimensions. The Horizontal 2-Photon Microscope can be employed on different fields of application, e.g. developmental biology, cancer research, or stem cell research. Samples can be images at high-speed in water, aqueous buffers, or clearing solutions. In addition, the Horizontal 2-Photon Microscope can be switched into a device that enables tomographic reconstruction of biological samples by some easy changes.

If you were unable to attend this year's ELMI or would just like to have more details about LaVision BioTec's TriM Scope 2-photon Microscope II and the UltraMicroscope II, view website: 

LaVision BioTec reports on the neuro research on
the human brain after trauma by Dr Ali Ertürk from the
Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at LMU Munich

LaVision BioTec report on the work of Ali Ertürk, a Group Leader at the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (part of the Klinikum der Universität München) at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

Dr Ali Ertürk has been using light sheet and 2-photon microscopy in his research for a number of years during work in both the USA (with Genentech) and currently in Germany in the Klinikum der Universität München (KUM), of the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich. He is now Group Leader of the Acute Brain Injury Research Group where his main interest is in understanding key mechanisms leading to neurodegeneration after traumatic brain injury. At present, virtually nothing is known about how the initial trauma alters the brain structure over months/years and ultimately its function.

Photo: Dr Ali Ertürk, Group Leader of the Acute Brain Injury Research Group at the Klinikum der Universität München, part of the LMU.

Image left: Whole brain of a GFP-M mouse, which was cleared with 3DISCO method and then imaged with the LaVision UltraMicroscope.

Image right: Neuronal connections in the spinal cord of a GFP-M mouse (3DISCO clearing and 2-photon imaging).

Dr Ertürk describes the challenges he faces. "One of the main struggles in neuroscience in general is the difficulty to accurately analyze long connections in the brain using tissue sections which deliver only limited spatial information. We use a novel approach aiming at mapping the acute and chronic changes in the entire brain caused by small, well-defined brain lesions. To map the pathological brain, we utilize cutting-edge imaging techniques including high-resolution 3D imaging of the entire brain - that we recently developed - and in vivo 2-photon imaging. Subsequently, we screen for novel molecular players that are altered in chronically affected brain regions to halt secondary neurological problems."

Choosing the instrumentation from LaVision BioTec for his laboratory in Munich started with his experience gained using their first generation UltraMicroscope while in Genentech's Department of Neuroscience. He was a member of the development team which discovered a highly reproducible and versatile clearing procedure called 3D imaging of solvent-cleared organs, or 3DISCO, which is applicable to diverse tissues including brain, spinal cord, immune organs and tumors.1,2 This has continued in Munich where he images entire transparent rodent brains. As Dr Ertürk says, the UltraMicroscope is the only commercial solution for this type of imaging where he looks at centimeter lengths of tissue. He also makes use of a two-photon microscope for higher resolution imaging of transparent organs albeit with a smaller field of view.

1 Ertürk A, Becker K, Jaehrling N, Mauch CP, Hojer CD, Egen J, et al. (2012): Three-dimensional imaging of solvent cleared organs using 3DISCO. Nature Protocols Oct 11;7(11):1983-95 (Cover article of the 2012 November Nature Protocols issue).

2 Ertürk A, Mauch C.P., Hellal F., Forstner F., Keck T., Becker K., Jahrling N., Steffens H., Richter M., Hubener M., et al. (2012): Three-dimensional imaging of theunsectioned adult spinal cord to assess axon regeneration and glial responses after injury.
Nature Medicine 18, 166-171. (Cover article of the 2012 January Nature Medicine issue).

To receive further details about LaVision BioTec's TriM Scope II 2-Photon Microscope and the UltraMicroscope II for light sheet microscopy, please contact LaVision BioTec on +49 (0)5219151390, view website: 
Refer to page 92

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