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.

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 July 24, 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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