skip to primary navigationskip to content

Microscopy Development


We have constructed instruments that permit imaging from the molecular scale (10 nm) to whole embryos spanning 100s of microns and containing 1000s of living cells.  Techniques we use include direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM) [1], structured illumination microscopy (SIM), selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM), fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) [2], [3], fluorescence anisotropy imaging microscopy (FAIM) [4], hyperspectral imaging, etc.  You find more details on these instrument in the equipment overview.  The technology portfolio permits us to flexibly address a large number of biological research questions.  Currently we are developing variants of RESOLFT imaging with the group of Prof. Stefan Hell in Göttingen, and SPIM with Dr. Jan Felix Evers in Heidelberg, and SIM with Dr. Kevin o’Holleran at the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre.

Theoretical research

Our experimental research is strongly backed up by theoretical work and activities in image processing. We have made contributions to the advancement of quantitative imaging in several fields, including the global analyses of FLIM data and spectral unmixing [5], quantitative FRET assays that recover both FRET strength and stoichiometry of interactions [6], anisotropy imaging to measure rotational diffusion constants and homoFRET [7], point spread function fitting for superresolution imaging [8] [9], and single molecule diffusion trajectory imaging at superresolution.  We have also performed theoretical research on frequency domain FLIM [10], which has led to the discovery of two new experimental methods to conduct FLIM, one operating at higher speed [11] and the other at better accuracy [3] than alternative FD-FLIM techniques.

FRET imaging of cyclin-cdk interactions in cells undergoing mitosis.  (For details see [6].)


[1] Kaminski Schierle GS et al., "In Situ Measurements of the Formation and Morphology of Intracellular ß-Amyloid Fibrils by Super-Resolution Fluorescence Imaging" (2011)
[2] Elder AD et al., "Calibration of a wide-field frequency-domain fluorescence lifetime microscopy system using light emitting diodes as light sources" (2006)
[3] Schlacter S et al., "MhFLIM: Resolution of heterogeneous fluorescence decays in widefield lifetime microscopy" (2009)
[4] Esposito A et al., "Design and application of a confocal microscope for spectrally resolved anisotropy imaging" (2011)
[5] Schlacter S et al., "A method to unmix multiple fluorophores in microscopy images with minimal a priori information" (2009)
[6] Elder AD et al., "A quantitative protocol for dynamic measurements of protein interactions by Forster resonance energy transfer-sensitized fluorescence emission" (2009)
[7] Chan FTS et al., "HomoFRET fluorescence anisotropy imaging as a tool to study molecular self-assembly in live cells" (2011)
[8] Erdelyi M et al., "Correcting chromatic offset in multicolor super-resolution localization microscopy" (2013)
[9] Rees EJ et al., "Blind Assessment of Localisation Microscope Image Resolution" (2012)
[10] Elder A et al., "Theoretical investigation of the photon efficiency in frequency-domain fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy" (2008)
[11] Elder AD et al., "Phi-squared fluorescence lifetime imaging" (2009)

Professor Thomas Huser will be giving a talk to the group on January 22 at 2:00 PM in CEB. He will present his latest efforts in unveiling and following structural changes of cellular nanopores in living cells by GPU-enhanced super-resolution structured illumination microscopy.

Read more

RSS Feed Latest news

LAG member wins department video competition

Jan 14, 2018

LAG member Marcus Fantham won the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology department video competition in December with a short clip featuring the work inside the group.

The LAG, MNG, and QI have their annual Christmas Dinner

Dec 08, 2017

The LAG, MNG, and QI get together to celebrate the holidays at Murray Edwards College.

Single molecule translation imaging

Nov 15, 2017

Single molecule translation imaging, SMTI, is a novel technique development by the Laser Analytics group to measure the rate and spatial distribution of protein synthesis [1,2]. Together with scientists form the Department of Physiology and Development of the University of Cambridge, we study the processes underlying neurodevelopment and the formation of neuronal networks in vivo.

View all news