Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method for imaging molecules inside cells

Date:
June 29, 2011
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Using a new sample holder, researchers have further developed a new method for imaging individual cells. This makes it possible to produce snapshots that not only show the outline of the cell's contours but also the various molecules inside or on the surface of the cell, and exactly where they are located, something which is impossible with a normal microscope.

Using a new sample holder, researchers at the University of Gothenburg have further developed a new method for imaging individual cells. This makes it possible to produce snapshots that not only show the outline of the cell’s contours but also the various molecules inside or on the surface of the cell, and exactly where they are located, something which is impossible with a normal microscope.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Gothenburg

Using a new sample holder, researchers at the University of Gothenburg have further developed a new method for imaging individual cells. This makes it possible to produce snapshots that not only show the outline of the cell's contours but also the various molecules inside or on the surface of the cell, and exactly where they are located, something which is impossible with a normal microscope.

Individual human cells are small, just one or two hundredths of a millimeter in diameter. As such, special measuring equipment is needed to distinguish the various parts inside the cell. Researchers generally use a microscope that magnifies the cell and shows its contours outline, but does not provide any information on the molecules inside the cell and on its surface.

"The new sample holder is filled with holds cells in solution," says Ingela Lanekoff, one of the researchers who developed the new method at the University of Gothenburg's Department of Chemistry. "We then rapidly freeze the sample down to -196C, which enables us to get a snapshot of where the various molecules are at the moment of freezing. Using this technique we can produce images that show not only the outline of the cell's contours, but also the molecules that are there, and where they are located."

Important to measure chemical processes in the body

So why do the researchers want to know which molecules are to be found in a single cell? Because the cell is the smallest living component there is, and the chemical processes that take place here play a major role in how the cell functions in our body. For example, our brain has special cells that can communicate with each other through chemical signals. This vital communication has been shown to be dependent on the molecules in the cell's membrane.

Imaging the molecules in the membrane of single individual cells's membrane enables researchers to measure changes. Together with previous results, Lanekoff's findings show that the rate of communication in the studied cells studied is affected by a change of less than one per cent in the quantities abundance of a specific molecule in the membrane. This would suggest that communication between the cells in the brain is heavily dependent on the chemical composition of the membrane of each individual cell,. This could be an important part of the puzzle which could go some way towards explaining the mechanisms behind learning and memory.

The thesis, Analysis of phospholipids in cellular membranes with LC and imaging mass spectrometry, has been successfully defended at the University of Gothenburg. Supervisors: Andrew Ewing and Roger Karlsson. Download the thesis at: hdl.handle.net/2077/25279


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "New method for imaging molecules inside cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628111856.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2011, June 29). New method for imaging molecules inside cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628111856.htm
University of Gothenburg. "New method for imaging molecules inside cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628111856.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins