Getting a closer look at cells
Thanks to our funding, researchers are able to look deeper into cells and analyse how they’re affected by disease. The funding will bring the automated imaging system to the Blizard Institute, part of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London.
Essentially a high-tech microscope, the equipment gives very detailed information on how a live cell is behaving, which is automatically digitised on a new computer system.
Removing human bias
Traditionally a cumbersome and time-consuming process, researchers would have taken 2D photos manually and the analysis of the results could have been subject to human bias.
Researcher Cleo says: “The old system was like Google Earth – you could look down on something from above. Now it’s more like a 3D version of a house – you can look into each floor, from different angles. It allows you to zoom inside cells and see how they are behaving.”
"The sky’s the limit with this software. The machine is so flexible, it can be applied to any medical question."Cleo Bishop, Senior Lecturer and Director of Graduate Studies
Helping find new cures
This confocal imaging technology will help to investigate complex human diseases and help researchers to find new cures and treatments. The technology has revolutionised the research landscape and is so new that the Blizard’s machine is only the third outside Oxford and Cambridge Universities. It will allow researchers at the School of Medicine and Dentistry to compete globally.
The machine is being used by researchers from several different institutes – from Barts Cancer Institute to the Wolfson Institute for Preventative Medicine. It will help ensure that Barts Health patients are supported with the highest calibre translational research.
“The sky’s the limit with this software. The machine is so flexible, it can be applied to any medical question,” adds Cleo.