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How Microscopy Helps the Study of Mechanoceptive and Synaptic Pathways

Dr. Langenhan explains how microscopy aids his neuroscience research

Mouse cortical neurons. Transgenic GFP (green). Image courtesy of Prof. Hui Guo, School of Life Sciences, Central South University, China  THUNDER_Imager_Mouse_cortical_neuron.jpg

About this podcast

Professor Tobi Langenhan uses microscopy to investigate synaptic protein assemblies, study the mechanoceptive properties of adhesion-type GPCRs, and understand protein dynamics and their spatial interactions. 

In conversation with Dr. Abdullah Ahmed, Tobi chats about the key questions his group are looking to answer, as well as some of the challenges that they face. He also shares the surprise he got when using THUNDER Imager technology to image intact fruit fly larvae!

What to expect in the podcast

Key learnings

  • Why is microscopy important, and what insights does it offer compared with other techniques?
  • What are your current labelling strategies?
  • What are the main challenges you face in microscopy?
  • Why did you choose the THUNDER imaging system?

About Tobias Langenhan and his group’s work

Tobi Langenhan specializes in synaptic communication and signalling pathways that are relayed through specific types of surface receptor molecules. In his group’s work, microscopy plays an important role in helping to understand where proteins such as adhesion G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), or synaptic molecules that execute neurotransmission, are located within cells, and how they move and interact with other molecules. This information is vital in understanding the workings of different molecules and what they do within individual cell types, within an organ and within the context of an entire body.

Much of the microscopy work done by the group involves live cell imaging, often using model organisms, although they also use histological sections of organs of interest – specifically from the fruit fly. Different labelling strategies are employed within the lab, from immunohistochemical approaches in conjunction with molecular labelling techniques to more recent approaches such as labelling cell-surface proteins using click chemistry.

The podcast

In this podcast, Tobi discusses these labelling strategies and microscopy approaches in more detail, talking about some of the challenging questions they are trying to answer. He explains how they could obtain highly resolved images of intact model organisms using THUNDER Imaging technology, and what the future holds for his research.

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