A Breakthrough in Light Efficiency


The Swedish Research Council has approved approximately SEK 7,5 million for a new investment in the advanced microscope Elyra 7 at CCI and Core Facilities. This instrument will be a significant improvement for performance in both temporal and spatial resolution. It will also make it possible to perform live cell super-resolution imaging – something many users have expressed a strong interest for.

The corresponding amount of money has also been approved for KTH for the purchase of the same advanced instrument. The investment is part of the Swedish national microscopy infrastructure NMI's development towards an even more high-quality research support using the latest technology and expertise.

Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez, unit manager at CCI, explains that this kind of joint investments are rare. Also, the current version of the instrument is nearly ten years old, which is a lot considering the fast technological development in the field. Researcher can therefore except big changes when it comes to sensitivity, resolution and speed.

“We believe that by upgrading to this cutting-edge imaging technologies and having it close to researchers at both GU and KTH, we will achieve a critical mass of expertise that responds to challenges in world-class biomedical research” Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez said.

A Breakthrough in Efficiency

This new microscope technique represents a breakthrough in light efficiency, enabling both fast (255 frames per second!) and gentle super-resolution imaging of living specimens.

By illuminating the samples with lower laser exposure, it will minimize photodamage and can observe fast cellular processes such as vesicle trafficking, membrane ruffling and signaling.

“Researchers will benefit from the capabilities of the novel optical microscopy platforms in an interdisciplinary context, locally at each university but also with strong national coordination through NMI.” Julia said.

Hoping for Inter-Disciplinary Discoveries

This national set-up is intended to facilitate extensive collaborations between researchers all over Sweden, Julia explains. She is also hoping it will result in more discoveries in inter-disciplinary scientific areas, more high-impact publications, and a greater number of innovations and technology developments.

“In addition, it is important to implement these innovative technologies at university level so we can guarantee that both junior and senior scientists have easy access for education purposes” Julia said.

Along with world class equipment, CCI and Core facilities offer dedicated, skilled and highly competent scientific staff, working with maintenance, development, and training of new users.

“This expertise, not only in image acquisition, but also in image processing and analysis, is the biggest asset of CCI” Julia added.

Elyra 7: Example of Usage and Capabilities

The ELYRA 7 combines Single Molecule Localization Microscopy (SMLM) for techniques such as PALM, dSTORM and PAINT. Researchers will be able to count individual molecules and learn, molecule by molecule, how individual proteins are arranged within a structural context.  

Also, Lattice SIM technology will allow new mechanistic details to be uncovered and the finest subcellular structures in large fields of view to be quantified.

The instrument can be used for two-dimensional or three-dimensional imaging of for example vivo tissue, bacteria, organoids, living or fixed cells using many differed fluorescent labels.

The complexity of experiments in life science and biomedical research often goes beyond what a single imaging method can provide. Microscopy users are also often interested in processes that take place in all levels of a cell or organism, needing different imaging methods even during the course of a single experiment.

“This new sophisticated instrument will take us beyond the diffraction limit of conventional microscopy, to image the fastest processes in living samples with super-resolution. This is an exciting development for the Gothenburg research community”

Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez, unit manager at CCI