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  • Coupling of vinculin to F-actin requires Syndecan-4 proteoglycan

    Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans act as a cell surface co-receptors for many proteins in which a signal is sent downstream via its cytosolic domain. The role of syndecan-4 proteoglycans in FA assembly was studied in endothelial cells, and single molecule localization super-resolution microscopy showed that Syn4 loss altered the cytoskeleton protein network assembly. Using molecular and cell biology approaches we were able to demonstrate that syndecan-4 plays a pivotal role in endothelial cell behavior. Super-resolution microscopy revealed that syndecan-4 knockdown alters the level and arrangement of essential proteins for focal adhesion, including actin network and a selective decoupling of vinculin from actin, leading to lamellipodia assembly and filopodia protrusions (Figure 1). Furthermore, using Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) microscopy, the structure of the tumors formed by such cells in mice was revealed showing its network of vascularization (Figure 2). We propose a model in which syndecan-4 acts as a central mediator: serving as a cell-signaling center in which ECM (fibronectin), cell surface (integrins) and intracellular components (actin and vinculin) come together.
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  • Unmask the Hidden without Probes: CARS

    Fluorescence microscopy assumed a pivotal role in cell biology once it was possible to stain cell components selectively by fluorescing dyes. One of the first explorers of targeted stainings, Paul Ehrlich, had the idea that something that stains specifically should also kill specifically – which was associated with the term “magic bullet”, the essential idea of chemotherapy. His group discovered Salvarsan, a tailored drug against syphilis – though not specific enough not to cause substantial side effects. Screening many fluorescent dyes led to a long list of stainings which are used in histology, including dyes like DAPI or hematoxylin and eosin.
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  • CARS Microscopy: Imaging Characteristic Vibrational Contrast of Molecules

    Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy is a technique that generates images based on the vibrational signatures of molecules. This imaging methods does not require labeling, yet molecular specific information can be obtained from a range of important bio-molecular compounds.
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  • Live-cell Imaging Techniques

    The understanding of complex and/or fast cellular dynamics is an important step for exploring biological processes. Therefore, today’s life science research is increasingly focusing on dynamic processes like cell migration, morphological changes of cells, organs or whole animals and physiological (e.g. changes of intracellular ion composition) events in living specimens in real time.
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  • Neurobiology and Microscopy

    Neurobiology, the science of nerves and the brain, has mainly been driven forward in the last 200 years by microscopic investigations. The structures of cellular and subcellular structures, interaction and the three-dimensional assembly of neurons were made visible by various microscopy techniques. The optical microscope is also a necessary tool for visualizing micropipettes in electrophysiological measurements. Thirdly, many types of functional imaging are performed by means of optical microscopy.
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  • An Introduction to CARS Microscopy

    CARS overcomes the drawbacks of conventional staining methods by the intrinsic characteristics of the method. CARS does not require labeling because it is highly specific to molecular compounds which are based on vibrational contrast and chemical selectivity. The crucial advantage of this method is that the sample remains almost unaffected. With CARS, new samples that could not be stained due to unavailability of the appropriate dye are now accessible.
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  • Step by Step Guide to the Molecular Basics of CARS Microscopy

    CARS (Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering) microscopy is a dye-free method which images structures by displaying the characteristic intrinsic vibrational contrast of their molecules. The crucial advantage of this method is that the sample remains almost unaffected. This tutorial explains the molecular basics on Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering.
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  • CARS Publication List

    CARS (Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering) microscopy is a dye-free method which images structures by displaying the characteristic intrinsic vibrational contrast of their molecules. The crucial advantage of this method is that the sample remains almost unaffected.
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  • Good Vibrations

    In recent years, new molecular imaging techniques, such as coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy (CARS), have been developed for rapid vibrational imaging of living cells.
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  • CARS and Confocal

    The most important drawback of single-photon and multiphoton confocal microscopy is the need to label the specimen. CARS (Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy) addresses this issue because it is non-toxic, non-destructive, and minimally invasive.
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