Successful workshop on advanced light microscopy shows versatility of Wageningen UR facilities

Published on
June 25, 2013

On June 13th, CAT-AgroFood organised a workshop on “Advanced Light Microscopy facilities of Wageningen UR”. During this workshop, around sixty scientists from industries, knowledge institutes and Wageningen UR learned more about four advanced light microscopy set-ups that were purchased over the last year. These microscopes are part of the facilities of CAT-AgroFood, through which they are available for use for every researcher from inside and outside Wageningen UR.

Applications in many areas of life science research

Light microscopy techniques have various applications in scientific research, many of them in the life sciences but also in for instance material sciences. Using light microscopy, magnifications of specimens can be imaged and the (bio)molecules of interest can be localized. Also the interaction and dynamics of systems can be studied with light microscopy. Wageningen UR is rich in advanced light microscopy instrumentation, mostly present in the Wageningen Light Microscopy Centre (WLMC) and the MicroSpectroscopy Centre Wageningen (MSC), but also in various groups beyond these centres. Researchers of Wageningen UR apply light microscopy techniques for many studies in the areas of plant, animal, food, material and environmental research.

Automated live cell imaging

The workshop was opened with a general introduction on the characteristics of different light microscopy techniques, after which several researchers showed the unique microscopes that they use. Dr. Norbert de Ruijter (Laboratory of Cell Biology and WLMC) presented the principles of the ‘spinning disk confocal microscopy’, which is an ideal instrument for imaging poor signals at high magnification. He also showed interesting results that were obtained using the set-up in Wageningen. Dr. Jurgen Karczewski (Host-Microbe Interactomics) showed the BD Pathway 855. This microscope is very suitable for automated live cell imaging and extraction of high content information from cells and tissue, and can be integrated with genomics, proteomics and metabolomics datasets. Dr. Jan Willem Borst (Laboratory of Biochemistry and MSC) presented the multi-mode confocal laser scanning microscope, that can be used for single molecule experiments and the study of molecular interactions in vivo. Finally, Dr. Johannes Hohlbein (Laboratory of Biophysics and MSC) showed examples of how to use total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF) for studying interactions of single molecules in vivo.

New ideas

The workshop gave the  audience  insight in the latest research methods and their application, related to their own research area as well as inspiring suggestions outside their own research objectives. As an even greater result, several of the participants got new ideas for applying one or more of the presented technologies in their own research - a boost for science and innovation. CAT-AgroFood helps these and other researchers by making all the presented microscopes, in addition to many other research facilities, accessible and continues to invest in new technologies.