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Scientists learn about advanced methods of biological microscopy in Vladivostok

Three-day research and practical workshop program on advanced imaging methods in biological microscopy was held in the Far East. The training took place at two sites: in the Far Eastern Federal University and the Institute of Marine Biology of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. During the lectures and practical sessions, OPTEC experts educated the workshop attendees on advanced methods of confocal laser scanning, electron scanning and atomic force microscopy, X-ray methods, and special methods of statistical cell analysis in light microscopy. State-of-the-art equipment from ZEISS Microscopy and Bruker was used.

Master classes in the operation of the ZEISS LSM 800 laser scanning microscope with the Airyscan system were held in the Nanotechnologies Scientific and Educational Center (SEC) of the School of Engineering of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU). Scientists from the FEFU and Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) educated on the capabilities of the unique device. The sessions were led by Andrey Barinov, Lead Expert in Laser Scanning Microscopy, OPTEC.

As Alexander Zakharenko, Research Scientist of the Nanotechnologies Scientific and Educational Center, noted, Zeiss LSM 800 is equipment of the highest class. The precise adjusting function of the microscope allows us to see separate layers of the object under study in high resolution and construct a 3D model based on the images obtained. The LSM 800 makes it possible to study the individual organelles in cells when the effectiveness of new drugs is being evaluated, as well as scan various materials and coatings and watch how nanoparticles affect animate and inanimate objects.

The Airyscan system option installed on the LSM 800 improves microscope sensitivity and resolution with less illumination, and ensures that images are obtained in high speed.

«Earlier, obtaining such results would require a device of massive proportions. The ZEISS LSM 800 is not only more compact, but also more powerful: the maximum image resolution exceeds that of most previous-generation systems by at least a factor of 1.7. In April 2016, the FEFU became the first scientific center in Russia to receive this type of microscope complete with all the options. At present, a similar system can only be found at the Primorsky Aquarium on Russky Island," Alexander Zakharenko said.

It should be added that the Nanotechnologies Scientific and Educational Center was established in the FEFU under a Federal Special Purpose Program. A unique research infrastructure was built here to provide the university’s scientists with essential assistance in topical scientific research activities. This modern equipment is available for use not only by the employees of the center, but also by the representatives of other departments of the School of Engineering, School of Natural Sciences, and School of Biomedicine.

The Bioscope Resolve atomic-force microscope for biology from Bruker is another new product recently installed by OPTEC engineers at the FEFU School of Biomedicine. It was also the first such device ever in Russia.

The BioScope Resolve system is an atomic-force microscope specially developed for use in combination with a light microscope to study the biological features of cells, tissues and molecules. This new system offers the fullest range of capabilities for studying cell biomechanics with direct control over probe-surface interaction force at the level of several piconewtons with the use of molecular force spectroscopy. The system design allows us to obtain images with the highest resolution possible while examining any type of biological specimen, from cells to biomolecules. The New Horizons in Bio-AFM workshop was led by Denis Fokin,OPTEC Expert in Scanning Probe Microscopy.

On the next day, sessions continued with a master class in scanning electron microscopy, which was held at the Institute of Marine Biology of the FEB RAS by OPTEC Experts Daniil Uchaev and Denis Fomin. They demonstrated the application potential for the ZEISS Sigma microscope with a transmission detector for the examination of biological objects. This microscope was delivered under the FEB RAS program for the modernization of the electronic microscope fleet, and used in the work of the Shared Knowledge Center-Far Eastern Electronic Microscopy Center of IMB FEB RAS for research into the ultrastructural organization of marine species' cells, the morphogenesis mechanism, virus cell interactions, and other scientific challenges facing the institute.

Prepared using the materials of FEFU’s Press Office