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The Microscopy Knowledge Portal

LEARN. SHARE. CONTRIBUTE. Science Lab, the knowledge portal of Leica Microsystems, offers scientific research and teaching material on the subjects of microscopy. The content is designed to support beginners, experienced practitioners and scientists alike in their everyday work and experiments. Explore interactive tutorials and application notes, discover the basics of microscopy as well as high-end technologies – become part of the Science Lab community and share your expertise! 

Latest Articles

  • Laser Microdissection Publication List

    This monthly updated reference list demonstrates the major application fields for laser microdissection in life science research.
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  • mTORC1 Promotes Proliferation of Immature Schwann Cells and Myelin Growth of Differentiated Schwann Cells

    The myelination of axons is essential for neuronal wiring and normal nervous system functions. In the peripheral nervous system, Schwann cells (SCs) form myelin sheaths around axons during nerve development. Such myelination is compromised in a number of diseases. Hence, identification and understanding of the key pathways regulating SC development and myelinogenesis are essential for therapeutic progress. Here we uncover two separate roles of the cellular signaling node mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) for regulating the development of SCs and subsequently the growth of myelin sheaths. Moreover, we demonstrate that defective SCs possess a remarkable plasticity to remyelinate axons via mTORC1. Thus, manipulating mTORC1 activity in diseased SCs could be therapeutically beneficial.
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  • Autocrine Regulation of Stomatal Differentiation Potential by EPF1 and ERECTA-LIKE1 Ligand-receptor Signaling

    Development of stomata, valves on the plant epidermis for optimal gas exchange and water control, is fine-tuned by multiple signaling peptides with unique, overlapping, or antagonistic activities. EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTOR1 (EPF1) is a founding member of the secreted peptide ligands enforcing stomatal patterning. Yet, its exact role remains unclear. Here, we report that EPF1 and its primary receptor ERECTA-LIKE1 (ERL1) target MUTE, a transcription factor specifying the proliferation-to-differentiation switch within the stomatal cell lineages.
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  • High-Resolution 3D Imaging of Whole Organ after Clearing

    Zebrafish testis has become a powerful model for reproductive biology of teleostean fishes and other vertebrates and encompasses multiple applications in applied and basic research. Many studies have focused on 2D images, which is time consuming and implies extrapolation of results. Three-dimensional imaging of whole organs recently became an important challenge to better understand their architecture and allow cell enumeration.
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  • Visualization of DNA Molecules

    Precise low angle rotary shadowing with heavy metals (like platinum) can be used in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to observe molecular details of objects previously absorbed on a thin, low grain and electron-transparent carbon film. To achieve the highest contrast and better image quality, it is essential that the coating is directional, and it is given at a precise angle toward the sample. The fine grain of the metal layers and the homogeneous thickness of the coating material all over the sample surface are also crucial requirements to achieve high quality TEM images. This requires the method of e-beam evaporation a stream of evaporated material which is very directional, extremely homogeneous, cool and fine grained.
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  • Leica is MAD about LIBS

    When analyzing material for cleanliness testing, users normally just want a simple way to know whether the particle under scrutiny is normal debris or something more risky. Users can now “LIBS” it to acquire rapidly the composition and then move onto the next manufacturing step.
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  • Lifetime – a Proper Alternative

    „Way too complicated!“ - the notorious feedback when it comes to fluorescence lifetime measurements. This will change now! New technologies and new concepts for data evaluation, all implemented in the new Leica SP8 FALCON, render fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) as fuss-free as ordinary confocal imaging. And by the way: with Leica FALCON you can record frames 10 times faster compared to the classical standard. And three (or more) dimensional image stacks or time series are generated in a snap. Four channels simultaneously? No problem! And of course there are tunable excitation wavelength both visible with white light lasers (WLL) and infrared (the latter for multiphoton microscopy). That should be reason enough to delve into fluorescence lifetime imaging. The picture shows a lifetime image of a mouse embryo. Recorded in 722 stitched tiles and fitted for four separate characteristic times. Recording time ca 1 hour – compared to ca 1 day with the classical approach.
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  • FCS - Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy

    FCS is a fluorescence-based measurement method. Fluorescent molecules passing through a strongly focused, fixed laser beam are excited for fluorescence emission. After passing a confocal pinhole, the emitted photons are registered using very sensitive detectors.
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  • FLIM FRET - Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer

    A typical application of FLIM is FLIM-FRET. FRET is a well-established technique to study molecular interactions. It scrutinizes protein binding and estimates intermolecular distances on an Angström scale as well. The SP8 FALCON system together with the integrated FRET analyzer provides FRET-efficiency and binding maps.
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  • FLCS - Fluorescence Lifetime Correlation Spectroscopy

    Essentially, FCS can be performed with a continuous-wave laser. Using pulsed lasers allows even more sophisticated analysis possibilities, such as time-gated FCS or Fluorescence Lifetime Correlation Spectroscopy (FLCS). Both methods make use of the additional information obtained by the simultaneous measurement of the fluorescence lifetime.
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  • SP FLIM - Spectral Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

    The SP8 FALCON is the ideal tool for spectral FLIM detection. No emission filters in front of the FLIM detectors are necessary. This grants a much higher flexibility to the experimental design.
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  • FCCS - Fluorescence Cross-Correlation Spectroscopy

    FCCS (Fluorescence Cross-Correlation Spectroscopy) can be measured using the Leica TCS SP8 FCS system. Similar to FCS , it analyzes fluorescence intensity fluctuations derived from a small observation volume.
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  • FLIM - Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

    The fluorescence lifetime is a measure of how long a fluorophore remains on average in its excited state before returning to the ground state by emitting a fluorescence photon.
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  • Solvent immersion imprint lithography

    We expand upon our recent, fundamental report on solvent immersion imprint lithography (SIIL) and describe a semi-automated and high-performance procedure for prototyping polymer microfluidics and optofluidics. The SIIL procedure minimizes manual intervention through a cost-effective (∼$200) and easy-to-assemble apparatus. We analyze the procedure's performance specifically for Poly (methyl methacrylate) microsystems and report repeatable polymer imprinting, bonding, and 3D functionalization in less than 5 min, down to 8 μm resolutions and 1:1 aspect ratios. In comparison to commercial approaches, the modified SIIL procedure enables substantial cost reductions, a 100-fold reduction in imprinting force requirements, as well as a more than 10-fold increase in bonding strength.
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  • Role of circadian gene Clock during differentiation of mouse pluripotent stem cells

    Biological rhythms controlled by the circadian clock are absent in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, they start to develop during the differentiation of pluripotent ESCs to downstream cells. Conversely, biological rhythms in adult somatic cells disappear when they are reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These studies indicated that the development of biological rhythms in ESCs might be closely associated with the maintenance and differentiation of ESCs.
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