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TIRF Microscopy

Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) is a highly sensitive technique to perform functional investigations in living cells. The high signal to noise ratio and a resolution in z direction of usually 70-250 nm above the coverslip/water interface allows to visualize and to analyse vesicles transport and signalling events, as well as kinetic studies and single molecules detection. Physical background is the total reflection of a laser beam at the interface of glass and water and the resulting electromagnetic wave, the so-called evanescent field. The energy of the evanescent field decreases exponentially with the distance of the interface coverslip/water and allows exciting fluorochromes.

  • TIRF Publication List

    This monthly updated references list presents current papers using Leica AM TIRF in the major application fields for TIRF microscopy.
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  • Co-Orientation: Quantifying Simultaneous Co-Localization and Orientational Alignment of Filaments in Light Microscopy

    Co-localization analysis is a widely used tool to seek evidence for functional interactions between molecules in different color channels in microscopic images. Here we extend the basic co-localization analysis by including the orientations of the structures on which the molecules reside. We refer to the combination of co-localization of molecules and orientational alignment of the structures on which they reside as co-orientation. Because the orientation varies with the length scale at which it is evaluated, we consider this scale as a separate informative dimension in the analysis. Additionally we introduce a data driven method for testing the statistical significance of the co-orientation and provide a method for visualizing the local co-orientation strength in images. We demonstrate our methods on simulated localization microscopy data of filamentous structures, as well as experimental images of similar structures acquired with localization microscopy in different color channels.
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  • Video Talk by Daniel Axelrod: Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) Microscopy

    Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) Microscopy is a technique that only illuminates dye molecules near a surface. In this video, the pioneer of TIRF Microscopy describes what this technique is used for, explains the principles of the evanescent wave, gives many examples of different microscope configurations used in TIRF, and shows how polarized light TIRF can be used to image membrane orientation.
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  • Video Interview with William Hughes

    William Hughes works at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney (Australia). In his Lab Head position he is interested in the causes of diabetes particularly looking at changes in exocytic behavior of pancreatic beta cells as well as fat and muscle cells. TIRF microscopy is predestined for researchers looking at cellular processes near the cytoplasmic membrane.
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  • Webinar: From Epifluorescence to Super-Resolution in 3D

    This webinar will illustrate results obtained by biochemical, Epifluorescence, TIRFM, Confocal and GSD techniques. Depending on the aim of experimental question, different imaging techniques deliver insights into varying aspects of intracellular pathways. To achieve "True-to-detail imaging" of the spatial arrangement of proteins and other biomolecules in cells, GSDIM achieves resolutions up to 20 nm in x and y direction – beyond the diffraction limit of light microscopy. But Super-resolution microscopy can be applied in the axial (z-) direction, too. A recent commercial implementation of the astigmatism approach will be discussed in more detail during this webinar.
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  • Webinar: Challenges in Live Cell Imaging

    Live cell imaging is one tool in the cell biologist's tool box. There are, however, a variety of technologies and methods to achieve this. In this webinar, three practicing researchers discuss: Their use of live cell imaging and how it has helped them achieve publishable results.
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  • Controlling the TIRF Penetration Depth is Mandatory for Reproducible Results

    The main feature of total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy is the employment of an evanescent wave for the excitation of fluorophores instead of using direct light. A property of the evanescent wave, which arises from the glass/water or glass/specimen interface, is that its propagation in z-direction gradually degrades, limiting its penetration depth into the specimen to some hundred nanometers.
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  • Protein Transport Processes at the Apical Membrane of Polarized Epithelial Cells

    Due to their special role in organ function and the exchange of biological components some body cells developed certain polarization characteristics. These are reflected in differences of their plasma membrane composition. The essential and fascinating task of polarized protein transport in epithelial cells is to get the right protein into the right membrane.
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  • Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) Microscopy

    Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) is a special technique in fluorescence microscopy developed by Daniel Axelrod at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the early 1980s. TIRF microscopy delivers images with an outstandingly high axial resolution below 100 nm. This allows the observation of membrane-associated processes.
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  • Applications of TIRF Microscopy in Life Science Research

    The special feature of TIRF microscopy is the employment of an evanescent field for fluorophore excitation. Unlike standard widefield fluorescence illumination procedures with arc lamps, LEDs or lasers, the evanescent field only penetrates the specimen by about 100 nm starting from the coverslip/medium interface.
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  • The New Repository on the Block

    The need for data validation and accessibility has never been greater than it is today. We are inundated with information from a multitude of resources, but how can we easily evaluate the accuracy of that data? In the past, the peer review process provided this and was often run by publishers.
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  • TIRF Microscopy of the Apical Membrane of Polarized Epithelial Cells

    Application of TIRF microscopy (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence) allows the visualization of structures at the apical surface of polarized epithelial cells that have been hidden in conventional fluorescence microscopy images. Hence, the approach reveals new insights into the composition of this characteristic cell pole that elucidate processes in apical protein trafficking.
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  • Exploring Cell Logistics

    Using TIRF microscopy, scientists have been able to take a closer look at intracellular transport processes with the example of the galactose-binding protein Galectin-3, which has been identified as a potential apical sorting receptor.
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Useful Links

Communities and Web Sources

www.researchgate.net/
Social network for scientists

www.ibiology.org/
Teaching tools, video lectures on biology and microscopy

bitesizebio.com
Online magazine and community for molecular and cell biology researchers

www.somersault1824.com
Resource for high-end scientific illustrations, images and animations

Search Engines and Data Bases

www.cellimagelibrary.org
Public resource database of images, videos, and animations of cells

harvester.fzk.de/harvester
Bioinformatic meta search engine for genes and proteins

www.gopubmed.com
Search interface for pubmed

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_academic_databases_and_search_engines
List of academic databases and search engines

scholar.google.com
Beta of Google's search engine for scientific article abstracts

Journals

www.doaj.org/
Directory of open access journals

emboj.embopress.org/
The EMBO Journal

www.lifescied.org
CBE-Life Sciences Education – an ASCB online journal

www.sciencemag.org/
Science

www.nature.com/
Nature

www.cell.com/
Biweekly publication of exceptional research articles

jcs.biologists.org/
Journal of Cell Science

dev.biologists.org/
Development

jeb.biologists.org/
The Journal of Experimental Biology

dmm.biologists.org/
DMM Disease Models & Mechanisms

www.biotechniques.com/
International Journal of Life Science Methods

www.opticsinfobase.org/
Collection of Journals and Proceedings in Optics and Photonics

spie.org/x576.xml
SPIE - peer-reviewed journals on applied research in optics and photonics

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1864-0648
Journal of Biophotonics

www.plosone.org/home.action
International, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/
Proceedings B - the Royal Society's biological research journal

www.microscopy-analysis.com/
International Journal for microscopists

Organizations / Institutes

www.microscopy.org/
Microscopy Society of America

www.eurmicsoc.org/
European Microscopy Society

www.rms.org.uk/
Royal Microscopical Society

http://www.doitpoms.ac.uk
Tutorials on microscopy for materials science; University of Cambridge, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

www.ascb.org/
ASCB American Society of Cell Biology

www.biologists.com/cob_activities.html
the company of biologists

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