As we approach the end of 2020, join us in looking back on the positive events this year, from new products to ground-breaking discoveries and CoolLED being launched into space!
In June we heard that our pE-300white was chosen for a microscopy setup on the International Space Station, thanks to its high irradiance, high stability and compact size. The research focuses on two main areas: understanding how gravity is sensed at a cellular level, and developing 3D cell culture technology.
We ran an imaging competition in the first half of 2020, but with a twist on the traditional: we instead wanted not just an image, but an ‘Image in an Image’.
We were impressed and entertained by the fantastic entries, from peacock feathers in ascorbic acid crystals, to hearts in a heart valve (sent in on Valentine’s Day). The winner was Alfonso Schmidt, Bioimaging Specialist at the Hugh Green Cytometry Centre, New Zealand, who found the Eye of Sauron in a hair follicle from a skin biopsy. We hope he’s enjoying his new pE-300ultra! The competition will be starting again in 2021, so make sure to look out for your ‘Image in an Image’.
Five new products!
The big news this year has undoubtedly been the new 8-channel pE-800 Illumination System. The reception has been fantastic, and our Production Team is working hard to fulfil the many orders.
For transmitted illumination, we also expanded the pT-100 range to introduce liquid light guide variants of the pT-100-WHT for white light and the pT-100-770 for narrow bandwidth illumination at 770 nm. These are perfect for Electrophysiology applications, with positioning now possible outside the Faraday cage.
Earlier in the year, we worked alongside Kramer Scientific and Olympus to provide affordable multi-channel fluorescence for the Olympus CX43. And finally, users of the Leica DMi8 microscope with an interest in Fura-2 ratiometric calcium imaging can now experience higher irradiance with our 33E solution, specially designed for coupling the pE-340fura Calcium Imaging Light Source.
120 published research papers featuring CoolLED Illumination Systems
It’s always exciting to read about the research our microscope LED light sources play a part in, and despite the challenges for researchers this year, 120 ground-breaking papers have made it through to publication! We sadly cannot include mention of them all (you can view all at PubMed Central), but here are a few examples:
- Live cell imaging may be one of the best ways to help answer a biological question, but this is easier said than done when it comes to thermophiles, which thrive in temperatures up to 122 °C. The researchers therefore created their Sulfoscope setup for high-temperature imaging, which uses a CoolLED pE-4000 for illumination. This enabled the discovery of molecular characteristics of archaea which are also intriguingly similar to mammalian cells, and we can’t wait to learn about future discoveries unlocked by the new Sulfoscope technology.
Pulschen, A. A. et al. (2020). Live Imaging of a Hyperthermophilic Archaeon Reveals Distinct Roles for Two ESCRT-III Homologs in Ensuring a Robust and Symmetric Division. Current biology : CB, 30(14), 2852–2859.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.05.021
- The presence of saturated fatty acids damages pancreatic β-cells (known as lipotoxicity), which is one of the features of Type 2 Diabetes. Elevated Ca2+ concentrations in the cytosol are known to trigger apoptosis, and it was also observed that the mitochondria takes up Ca2+ via the MCU protein – but what role does this play in lipotoxicity? This researched used RNA interference of the MCU protein together with Fura-2 ratiometric calcium imaging using the CoolLED pE-340fura Illumination System to find the answer. The findings suggest that it is actually a protective mechanism, reducing cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations and protecting the β-cells, presenting a new insight into this prevalent metabolic disease.
Ly, L. D., et al. (2020). Mitochondrial Ca2+ Uptake Relieves Palmitate-Induced Cytosolic Ca2+ Overload in MIN6 Cells. Molecules and cells, 43(1), 66–75. https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2019.0223
- Bacterial biofilms make it extremely challenging to treat many infections, and this research might just have found the Achilles Heel. If these newly discovered channels can take up nutrients, why not drugs? The authors used their Mesolens microscope with a 6 mm field of view, which uses the CoolLED pE-4000.
Rooney, LM. et al. (2020). Intra-colony channels in E. coli function as a nutrient uptake system. The ISME journal, 14(10), 2461–2473. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-020-0700-9