Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compact, extremely small-scale incubator microscope to examine cells in time lapse

Date:
May 30, 2014
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Biologists and doctors rely heavily on incubators and microscopes. Now researchers have come up with a novel solution that combines the functions of both these tools in a compact and extremely small-scale system. It is ideally suited for time-lapse examination over a number of weeks and for automatic observation of cell cultures. The incubator microscope is no bigger than a soda can and costs 30 times less than buying an incubator and a microscope separately.

No bigger than a soda can, the small-scale incubator microscope is a space-saving and cost effective solution for time-lapse observation of cell cultures.
Credit: Fraunhofer IBMT

Biologists and doctors rely heavily on incubators and microscopes. Now the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT has come up with a novel solution that combines the functions of both these tools in a compact and extremely small-scale system. It is ideally suited for time-lapse examination over a number of weeks and for automatic observation of cell cultures. The incubator microscope is no bigger than a soda can and costs 30 times less than buying an incubator and a microscope separately. It will be on display for the first time at MEDTEC in Stuttgart.

Related Articles


Cells play a prominent role in biology and in medicine. Just like humans, they need nutrients to survive. Cultivating human and animal cells requires parameters such as temperature and humidity to be specified with absolute precision and maintained at an even level over long periods of time. Time-lapse observation over a period of some weeks can be particularly valuable, since a lot happens in that time in terms of cell reproduction and differentiation. Until now, the usual technique to make these sorts of observations has been to use small incubators in combination with conventional microscopes. This takes up about one square meter of space, making operating several such systems alongside each other an inefficient process. There is a need for innovative solutions that will significantly reduce the space needed and the costs involved -- without compromising the quality of the cultivation and of the microscope images recorded.

At MEDTEC researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT in St. Ingbert will be showcasing their small-scale incubator microscope solution. This system can be used for time lapse observation of cell cultures as well as to gather fluorescent images at different wavelengths. It includes a small-scale incubation chamber and control electronics to ensure defined cell culture parameters. Cells grow on the floor of the miniaturized incubation chamber on a thin, replaceable glass plate and are supplied with a constant stream of nutrients. The only parameters that need to be kept constant within the incubator are the temperature and the nutrient supply flow rate. All in all, the small-scale incubator microscope is extremely good value and allows for many units to be operated in parallel in a very compact space. And despite its space-saving design, the system yields images that are almost as good as those of the big microscopes.

Prototype versions are already in use in a variety of research projects. "The system is stable and can be used for time-lapse observation spanning several weeks," says Dr. Thomas Velten, head of the Biomedical Microsystems department. The device continuously gathers data and saves them to a computer. Images can be accessed at any time and analyzed using the appropriate image processing software.

"Our customers get a biomedical analysis tool of the highest quality -- well priced, space-saving and tailored to their needs," says Velten. The incubator microscope is suited to a wide variety of applications, for instance examining the reaction of cells to nanoparticles or toxic agents in the environment. Another current application is stem cell research. "The system is compact, mobile, extremely efficient and fully automatic in operation," concludes Velten.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Compact, extremely small-scale incubator microscope to examine cells in time lapse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530092636.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2014, May 30). Compact, extremely small-scale incubator microscope to examine cells in time lapse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530092636.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Compact, extremely small-scale incubator microscope to examine cells in time lapse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530092636.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
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


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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