Laboratory of Cell Motility

SILIA Project

Solid immersion microscopy to study ciliary proteins

Trypanosome on SIL1

Cilia are tiny organelles, yet their inner structure is highly diverse and dynamic. Understanding of cilia composition and dynamics requires imaging of cellular components at molecular level. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship project SILIA seeks to harness power of the novel solid immersion optics for better understanding of the events at the ciliary tip. In addition to increased resolution and light collection efficiency, we are researching ways to combine light microscopy with electron microscopy. Electron microscopy is capable of reaching molecular resolution when imaging cellular structures. However, it lacks temporal resolution and only provides static pictures or snapshots of the highly dynamic cellular environment. The combination with live-cell imaging is needed to gain insight into the dynamic aspects of the observed structures. For this purpose correlative approaches are often employed. Classical workflow of correlative light and electron microscopy includes live cell observation with light microscope, chemical fixation and subsequent preparation for electron microscopy. We are building solid immersion microscope that combines key properties needed to achieve both high spatial and temporal resolution it enables high speed live cell imaging and has high thermal and mechanical stability at wide range of temperatures.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 846796.

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