Liverpool BioAFM: an integrated optical and atomic force microscope for research across the life sciences

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Institute of Integrative Biology

Abstract

Individual cells in a plant or an animal are exposed to changes in their environment (mechanical forces, biochemical signals, temperature, light variations...). Cells have to interpret this information to adapt and respond appropriately. To understand the molecular mechanisms leading to a particular response (e.g. cell death, differentiation, adhesion, changes in topology etc), biologists need means of manipulating the environment in a carefully controlled manner and measuring the effects, for instance on the levels and localisation of proteins inside cells or on the structural properties of the cell surface. Each individual cell might respond differently from its neighbour and at a different time so it is crucial to follow the events in real time and in each individual cell.

This can be achieved using BioAFM imaging, an emerging technology, which combines Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) with advanced optical imaging (e.g. confocal, TIRF). AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. Information is gathered by "feeling" the surface with a mechanical probe. However, this technique does not provide information about the events inside cells, which can only be imaged using advanced optical imaging using fluorescently labelled molecules. Although BioAFM techniques have existed for over a decade in specialist centres, technological limitations restricted the ability to readily combine measurements from these complementary approaches. Only now that the technology has advanced and been refined through the development of user-friendly routines to capture and overlay information has it reached the point where it can be made available more widely to the life science community.

We propose to purchase one of the first BioAFM microscopes in the UK and to install it in the Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI). The CCI is an open access facility, so the microscope will be accessible to groups from several universities and companies. To illustrate the breadth of the science that will be served by this equipment, we briefly present below three of our exemplar projects:

1. Novel surfaces for anti-microbial resistance
Repeated warnings from the WHO and the UK Government's Chief Medical Officer emphasise the serious global threat of increasing antimicrobial resistance. Microbial activity and biofilms on surfaces cost UK industry billions of pounds each year due to product contamination, energy losses and equipment damage. Infection control, via advanced anti-microbial surfaces, is a key strategy to combat resistance. Uniquely, the BioAFM will enable us to learn how harmful bacteria attach to and respond to surfaces, and develop materials engineered at the nanoscale that can combat infection.

2. Developing water-efficient biofuel crops
There is an urgent and pressing need to improve the ability of biofuel plants to grow productively and sustainably on marginal land that is unsuitable for major food crops. Using the new microscope, we will better understand the mechanisms used by drought-adapted desert plants to conserve water by opening their stomatal pores at night and closing them during the hot, dry light period. These principles will then be applied to generate biofuel crops with these properties.

3. Repair of joints during ageing
Regeneration of cartilage, which acts as a flexible cushion between joints, depends on the ability of chondrocytes to produce and maintain the cartilaginous material. Failure in chondrocyte cell function is observed in old age and is associated with osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis in the UK, which afflicts around 1 million people every year. With the new microscope, we will follow for the first time, the effects of ageing on the ability of chondrocytes to respond to compression forces at the molecular level and begin to dissect the key pathways that trigger cartilage production.

Technical Summary

Multiparameter quantitative imaging in live cells provides important insights into how cells communicate with each other and interact effectively with their environment. However, a critical gap in our knowledge is how cells integrate and generate mechanical cues. BioAFM is an emerging technology combining atomic force microscopy (AFM) with advanced optical imaging (confocal and TIRF), which addresses directly this gap, because it provides precise measurements of mechanical signalling and its integration with effector signalling inside cells. Recent improvements in both software and hardware mean that BioAFM systems are no longer just at the disposal of one or two centres capable of integrating these technologies. However, because developments for correlative force and optical measurements are so recent, there is no open access BioAFM facility in the UK. We propose to install a BioAFM in the Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging to serve a range of projects within the BBSRC remit for users from the University of Liverpool, and external academic and industrial partners. The proposed projects include understanding: the rules of attachment and responses of biofilm-forming bacteria to nanostructured surfaces; inside-out signalling to regulate the mechanical and physical properties of guard cells in CAM plants; structural arrangement of photosynthetic elements in the chloroplast during circadian regulation and respiratory domains in bioenergetic membranes; outside-in signalling to regulate extracellular matrix production in chondrocytes etc. Liverpool is uniquely placed to implement this step-changing technology, by having an open access facility with expertise in the requisite imaging techniques and a multidisciplinary team of developmental, cell and plant biologists as well as a physicist and chemist for optimal exploitation of the quantitative data generated.

Planned Impact

Where and who is our user pool?

A key beneficiary of this investment in BioAFM microscopy will be our user pool. The Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI) is setup specifically for live cell imaging in control environmental conditions with capacity to image live cell or tissue cultures from a range of model organisms, including plants and animals. Therefore our primary user base will be academics interested in the quantitative measurement of real-time bio-mechanical events in a variety of experimental systems. With recent investment from the Optical Microscopy cross-council (MR/K015931/1) and BBSRC Alert13 (BB/L014947/1) initiatives we have been able to significantly extend our user base. We current host an average of around 70 users/pa from across the University of Liverpool, UK and the rest of the world, including industry. Moreover, we have been recommended to become a Euro-Bioimaging Node. While our facility is well established and supports projects using AFM and confocal microscopy, there is a growing demand for BioAFM (combined AFM-confocal-TIRF) capacity, which will enable correlative studies.

1. The biotechnology Industry has interests in developing materials with the ability to interact with and modify the behaviour of biological materials, cultures and biofilms in specific ways (e.g. for directed stem cell differentiation and use as antimicrobials, see letters of support). The agro-biotechnology industry will also be interested in BioAFM imaging of plants for example to understand plant development and function.

2. The pharmaceutical industry will be interested in using BioAFM to develop and validate model systems of tissues and to use those for drug testing, for instance by correlating the distribution of cell types to their metabolic activity following chemical or physical perturbation in living specimens over time, and mapping these changes to variation in biomarkers of human disease (e.g. see project P1, Case for Support).

3. Scientific Software Industry. Data generated by the BioAFM microscopes will present opportunities for software manufacturers to enhance data analysis software for correlative studies.

4. Scientific community. The major impact will come through access to the BioAFM to a wide user base (see letters of support). We will ensure the academic impact of this work through timely seminars, workshops and publications.

5. Outreach. The PIs and Co-Is have active collaborations with the Liverpool World Museum and local schools. The team will use these links to host events showcasing the applicability of the imaging techniques to "grand challenges" in biology and develop teaching resources.

6. A next generation of Scientists. The CCI will provide strong training of young scientists in cutting-edge technologies, assisting in their career progression. The CCI annually trains approximately 8 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate/postdoctoral scientists per annum, who will have access to the new BioAFM facility. More senior researchers who are trying to establish themselves as independent investigators will be supported via the Technology Directorate voucher scheme (see letter from TD). The CCI has had 6 projects funded by this programme. The Centre for Cell Imaging is also active in working with schools. For instance, sixth form projects are run within the CCI.
BioAFM is set to become an important microscopy technique; consequently access to this equipment will be accompanied by training and workshops. On top of individual hands-on training, we plan to host a series of events and workshops on BioAFM explaining its application as well as specific and specialist training on imaging techniques from instrument makers (Zeiss and JPK) and external speakers. We will also include training on image analysis. Workshops will be available to new and existing CCI users in the UK, industry and across Europe via the Eurobioimaging network.
 
Description The equipment is part of a shared research facility and, as such, is fully booked by a range of research groups and serves a broad variety of projects. Research groups using the equipment include: Daimark Bennett, Greg Hurst, Luning Liu (Institute of Integrative Biology, Liverpool), Mark Morgan and Tobias Zech (Institute of Translational Medicine, Liverpool), Kevin Hamill (Institute of Aging and Chronic Disease), Janine Coombes (Institute of Infection and Global Health), Rasmita Raval and Yuri Diaz Fernandez (Dept of Chemistry, Liverpool). The instrument has yielded important new insights into e.g.: i) the mechanical and topological features of nano-engineered surfaces and the biological responses of microbes to such surfaces; ii) the effects on cell signalling to the nucleus induced by mechanical forces on the cell surface of mammalian cells; iii) the adhesion of microbes to (commercially sensitive and academically-derived) surfaces with anti-microbial properties; iv) the assembly of bacterial microcompartment facets and the architecture and dynamics of cyanobacterial photosynthetic machinery.
Exploitation Route In the future, the investment in BioAFM microscopy will continue to benefit a diverse group of users of the Centre for Cell Imaging interested in the quantitative measurement of real-time bio-mechanical events working on a variety of experimental systems. The Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI) is setup specifically for live cell imaging in control environmental conditions with capacity to image live cell or tissue cultures from a range of model organisms, including plants and animals. The CCI currently hosts an average of around 70 users/pa from across the University of Liverpool, UK and the rest of the world, including industry. There is a growing demand from these user groups for BioAFM (combined AFM-confocal-TIRF) imaging, which enables correlative studies.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Education,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL https://cci.liv.ac.uk/
 
Description The BioAFM has been used by industrial users to examine dispersal of advanced surface coatings, aiding the development of chemical admixtures that are in commercial use. Other impacts from industrial users (including Croda, 5D Healthcare, DePuy Synthes, and Unilever) are emerging as our research collaborations mature and more users make use of the new capability.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description A Dragonfly multimodal fast imaging platform with SRRF-stream (Super-Resolution Radial Fluctuation) in the Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI)
Amount £290,246 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R01390X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2019
 
Description BBSRC project grant
Amount £590,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/M024202/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2018
 
Description Deciphering the physical basis underlying the self-assembly of bacterial organelles
Amount £108,592 (GBP)
Funding ID RGF\EA\180233 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description Development of New Mathematical Sciences for Healthcare Technologies
Amount £6,200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N014499/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 11/2019
 
Description EPSRC/ESRC Centre PhD Studentship
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Elucidating the organisation, activity and regulation of cyanobacterial bicarbonate transporters for engineering CO2 accumulation
Amount £330,756 (GBP)
Funding ID URF\R\180030 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Description Engineering a new nanobioreactor for hydrogen production
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 201703780114 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 04/2019
 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £514,057 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 02/2019
 
Description Liverpool BioAFM: an integrated optical and atomic force microscope for research across the life sciences
Amount £380,890 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/M012441/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 01/2016
 
Description MRC Clinical Research Capabilities and Technologies Initiative
Amount £5,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/M009114/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Department MRC Stratified Medicine
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description NWCR Centre Research Development Fund
Amount £5,600 (GBP)
Organisation North West Cancer Research (NWCR) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2017
 
Description Organisation, dynamics and biogenesis of a photosynthetic membrane
Amount £481,703 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R003890/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2021
 
Description University of Liverpool Technology Directorate
Amount £5,600 (GBP)
Organisation University of Liverpool 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2017
 
Description Unlocking the molecular stoichiometry of functional CO2-fixing organelles for synthetic engineering
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID RGF\EA\181061 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2019 
End 04/2021
 
Title BioAFM 
Description A new state-of-the-art BioAFM microscope has been installed in the Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI). This represents a completely new capability in the CCI and, more broadly, in the UK. BioAFM imaging is an emerging technology, which combines Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) with advanced optical imaging (e.g. confocal, TIRF). AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. Information is gathered by feeling the surface with a mechanical probe. However, this technique does not provide information about the events inside cells, which can only be imaged using advanced optical imaging using fluorescently labelled molecules. The combination of these approaches allows researchers to image how individual cells in a plant or an animal respond to changes in their environment (mechanical forces, biochemical signals, temperature, light variations) as they occur in real time. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The BioAFM microscope has only recently been installed so impacts will be reported next year. 
URL http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~cci/equipment.html
 
Title Zegami 
Description A front-end visualisation platform for querying and interrogating imaging datasets. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We have implemented a zegami server to act as a front-end to our public-facing OMERO gallery. This platform allows for the easy visualisation and interrogation of large imaging datasets and so provides an added layer of functionality. Several projects have utilised this system for Open-Data research projects, for an example see: https://doi.org/10.14293/s2199-1006.1.sor-chem.az1mju.v2 and corresponding data available at http://zegami.liv.ac.uk/2016-sf.html 
URL http://zegami.liv.ac.uk
 
Description 5D Healthcare - modelling biofilm development 
Organisation 5D Health Protection Group Ltd
PI Contribution The CCI is providing expertise and training in sample preparation and cell imaging
Collaborator Contribution This is an industry-led project. The 5D Health Protection Group Ltd is a leading independent Research & Development, Consulting and Microbiology Testing company that offers world-class services and solutions in the areas of biofilm research and infection control.
Impact Innovate UK grant applications (decision pending)
Start Year 2016
 
Description BMC - Ando 
Organisation Kanazawa University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Providing protein samples
Collaborator Contribution provide microscopy imaging and data analysis
Impact this collaboration is multi-disciplinary. We have expertise in protein expression and isolation. The collaborator has skills in biophysic analysis
Start Year 2016
 
Description BMC - De Pablo 
Organisation Autonomous University of Madrid
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution BMC isolation and expression, data analysis
Collaborator Contribution provide AFM training and imaging analysis of BMC samples
Impact secured a Johnston Fund (University of Liverpool, £2155) to support postdoc researcher to visit de Pablo Lab in March 2018.
Start Year 2017
 
Description BMC - Kerfeld 
Organisation Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution microscopy imaging of bacterial microcompartment assembly
Collaborator Contribution generating constructs and structural analysis
Impact One publication in Nano Letters, featured as a cover article Visualization of bacterial microcompartment facet assembly using high-speed atomic force microscopy. M. Sutter, M. Faulkner, C. Aussignargues, B.C. Paasch, S. Barrett, C.A. Kerfeld, L.N. Liu. Nano Letters, 2016, 2016, 16(3): 1590-1595, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b04259.
Start Year 2015
 
Description BMC - Nixon 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution making cyanobacterial constructs and thylakoid membrane samples
Collaborator Contribution plant engineering, biochemical investigation of thylakoid membrane composition.
Impact the preliminary collaborative work has helped to secure a BBSRC grant (BB/R003890/1)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BMC - Price 
Organisation Australian National University (ANU)
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution microscopy imaging of bacterial microscopy proteins and assemblies
Collaborator Contribution generating mutants and sharing protocols
Impact Royal Society International Exchange grant: £12,000. A manuscript is in preparation
Start Year 2015
 
Description Croda 
Organisation Croda International
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The CCI and Open Innovation Hub are providing expertise and training in cell imaging, nano-engineering and surface characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution Croda are acting as placement hosts to a PhD student, providing training in microbial screening technologies and a range of transferable skills associated with the commercial interest. Croda is a global leader in specialty chemicals for a wide range of markets from Personal Care to Health Care, Crop Care and Coatings and Polymers. The company employs over 3000 people in 34 countries with 17 manufacturing sites. Its UK operations include 4 manufacturing sites in addition to the Company's head office and R&D innovation hub at Cowick, East Yorkshire. The company had £1,046m sales in 2014 with 23.4% of sales resulting from new and protected product demonstrating the importance of R&D and Innovation within the company.
Impact PhD studentship starting October 2015. This is a multidisciplinary project between the Institute of Integrative Biology and the Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces at the University of Liverpool and Croda, combining basic microbiological techniques, biochemistry, molecular biology and surface science with state-of-the-art live cell imaging.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Euro-Bioimaging 
Organisation Euro-BioImaging
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging has been recommended by a prestigious and independent international evaluation board as an advanced light microscopy Euro-Bioimaging node.
Collaborator Contribution Euro-BioImaging is a pan-European infrastructure project whose mission is to build a distributed imaging infrastructure across Europe that will provide open access to innovative biological and medical imaging technologies for European researchers. We are in the early phase of the process where "nodes" that can deliver this expertise are being identified.
Impact No output yet: it is expected that new users from UK, Europe and beyond will use our facilities in the coming months and years.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Department Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Access to BioAFM imaging capability; training of staff in the use of equipment; imaging of microbe-surface interactions; image analysis; contribution to grant applications.
Collaborator Contribution Funding (ERDF); provided engineered surfaces for analysis.
Impact Publication: 10.1039/C6TB00460A Joint PhD studentship, starting Oct 2016 EPSRC programme grant application - under consideration
Start Year 2015
 
Description TM - Mullineaux 
Organisation Queen Mary University of London
Department School of Biological and Chemical Science QMUL
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution generating cyanobacterial mutants
Collaborator Contribution electron transport activity and optical spectrum analysis
Impact The collaboration has led to a paper published (Casella S, Huang F, Mason D, Zhao GY, John GN, Mullineaux CW, Liu LN*. Dissecting the native architecture and dynamics of cyanobacterial photosynthetic machinery. Molecular Plant, 2017, 10: 1434-1448. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2017.09.019). The preliminary collaborative work has helped to secure a BBSRC grant (BB/R003890/1).
Start Year 2015
 
Description TM - Schneider 
Organisation Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Department Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry
PI Contribution conduct microscopic imaging
Collaborator Contribution providing mutants and procedures for imaging analysis
Impact The preliminary collaborative work has helped to secure a BBSRC grant (BB/R003890/1)
Start Year 2017
 
Description Unilever - CTP PhD studentship 
Organisation Unilever
Department Unilever UK R&D Centre Port Sunlight
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The CCI and Open Innovation Hub are providing expertise and training in cell imaging, nano-engineering and surface characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution Unilever are providing industry-led training in project-specific and transferable skills associated with the commercial interest. Unilever is a multinational corporation selling consumer goods including foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. Unilever owns more than 400 brands including 11 "billion-dollar brands", which each achieve annual sales in excess of €1 billion.
Impact Outputs and outcomes to follow
Start Year 2017
 
Description Unilever challenge pump-priming projects 
Organisation Unilever
Department Unilever UK R&D Centre Port Sunlight
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The CCI and Open Innovation Hub are providing expertise and training in cell imaging, nano-engineering and surface characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution Unilever are providing industry-led training in project-specific and transferable skills associated with the commercial interest. Unilever is a multinational corporation selling consumer goods including foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. Unilever owns more than 400 brands including 11 "billion-dollar brands", which each achieve annual sales in excess of €1 billion.
Impact These projects have just started so there are no outputs or outcomes to report
Start Year 2017
 
Description workshop focused on cell imaging and image analysis 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Centre for Cell Imaging organised a 2 day workshop focused on light microscopy techniques and image analysis. 90 researchers and students attended the event mainly from Liverpool and Manchester but also from other Universities in the UK. Industrial partners were invited and the director of the Advanced Imaging Centre at the HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Teng-Leong Chew gave a keynote lecture and a comprehensive hands-on training session on Image Analysis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cci.liv.ac.uk/2017_workshop.html
 
Description "Meet The Scientist" exhbit at the World Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our exhibit was entitled: "Seeing inside cells". More than 300 visitors stopped at our exhibit and learned about cells, and how we can use microscopy to understand how they function. Children have visualised cells using a fluorescent microscope.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/health-and-life-sciences/meet-the-scientists/21-november/
 
Description Halloween Science event - Outreach activity with school children 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Outreach activity entitled "Spooky Science" for Halloween. 200 primary and secondary school children attended activities at the Institute of Integrative Biology. The Liu group engaged in "Magnetic Madness" activities to exhibit the principles of protein self-assembly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://blogandlog.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/halloween-science-at-the-institute-of-integrative-biolog...
 
Description Hosting Lower 6th form summer students via the Nuffield scheme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Centre for Cell imaging has hosted 2 6th form students for 4 weeks as part of the Nuffield Foundation scheme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosting Lower 6th form summer students via the Nuffield scheme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A Lower 6th form summer student was hosted in the Institute and Centre for Cell Imaging via the Nuffield scheme. Results and experiences were presented and discussed at a sponsor meeting for staff, students and parents.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/nuffield-research-placements
 
Description Image Analysis Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A blog, outreach and teaching resource based around the work done by Dave Mason, the CCI BioImage Analyst. The tutorials and educational material largely focuses on Open Source and Open Access tools such that others can apply the methods and techniques to their own quantification.

This platform also provides a route to engage with the wider community through comments and interactions on-site and via other social media platforms (IE twitter).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://postaquisition.wordpress.com
 
Description Image Analysis Conference Live Tweeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dave Mason (image analyst employed on the grant and now confirmed staff member of the Centre for Cell Imaging) live tweeted an image analysis conference and then wrote a blog post about live tweeting conferences. His tweets reached a broad community of potential users of the facility as well as other experts in the field. The blog post can encourage others to share their science directly with peers and with the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://blogandlog.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/thoughts-on-livetweeting/
 
Description Image analysis blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Blog publicising image analysis techniques and case studies from users of the facility. This has sparked discussion amongst the wider user pool and stimulated best practice in image handling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://postacquisition.wordpress.com
 
Description Imaging workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact More than 50 attendees participate to the yearly workshop organised by the Centre for Cell imaging. it provides training and awareness of new imaging technologies to group leaders, members of staff and students from the University of Liverpool, other Universities and local companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015
URL http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~cci/2015imagingday.html
 
Description Imaging workshop September 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Annual imaging workshop, focused on fundamentals in imaging and specific seminars on microscopy techniques such as super-resolution microscopy, intravital imaging, Life-time imaging. The main purpose is training and increasing awareness of the imaging capabilities in Liverpool
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://cci.liv.ac.uk/2016imagingday.html
 
Description Invited talk at Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk at Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK 2018.02.12
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk at Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK 2017.11.08
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk at Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 2017.03.07 Invited talk at Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk at State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University China 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk at State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Liverpool Cell Imaging annual workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Centre for Cell Imaging organised a 2 day workshop focused on light microscopy techniques, imaging probes and image analysis. 90 researchers and students attended the event mainly from Liverpool and Manchester but also from other Universities in the UK. Industrial partners were invited and attended.The second day was a focused hands-on training on image analysis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cci.liv.ac.uk/2018_workshop.html
 
Description Nuffield Summer Students 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Several of the co-Investigators hosted Nuffield Summer students in 2016. These provide a real experience of research and University to young people from various background who are selected for their achievements and enthusiasm for science. See hyperlink below for more details about the students and projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://blogandlog.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/11-nuffield-students-visited-iib-this-summer/
 
Description Organisation of the UK light microscopy facility managers meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Facility Managers Meeting is aimed at people running or working in light microscopy facilities.

150 Delegates from UK-based microscopy facilities find out more on the latest developments in UK Bioimaging and had the opportunity to discuss some of the basic elements (funding, impact measures) of running a core facility as well as the latest technological and application developments that effect facilities and users.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.rms.org.uk/discover-engage/event-calendar/lm-facility-managers-meeting-2019.html
 
Description Outreach activity at the Liverpool World Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Centre for Cell Imaging led an exhibition at the World Museum in Liverpool, as part of the "Meet the Scientist" scheme. The exhibit was entitled "seeing is believing". Members of the public, including children engaged in a numerous of activities around microscopy and bio-imaging.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/health-and-life-sciences/public-engagement/events/meet-the-scientists/
 
Description Outreach activity with school children 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Outreach activity entitled "Spooky Science" for Halloween. 200 primary and seconday school children attended activities at the Institute of Integrative Biology. The CCI team engaged in microscopy-based activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://blogandlog.wordpress.com/
 
Description Press release for the new paper in Molecular Plant 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press release for the research outcome published in Nanoscale 2017 (Casella S, Huang F, Mason D, Zhao GY, John GN, Mullineaux CW, Liu LN*. Dissecting the native architecture and dynamics of cyanobacterial photosynthetic machinery. Molecular Plant, 2017, 10: 1434-1448. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2017.09.019. ). Link: https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2017/10/12/molecular-architecture-photosynthetic-machinery-revealed. It has been also highlighted by the Chinese social media: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/MuEOZiIEJvme6gCpvN1aIw.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2017/10/12/molecular-architecture-photosynthetic-machinery-revealed
 
Description Press release for the new paper in Nanoscale 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press release for the research outcome published in Nanoscale 2017 (Faulkner M, Rodriguez-Ramos J, Dykes GF, Owen SV, Casella S, Simpson DM, Beynon RJ, Liu LN*. Direct characterization of the native structure and mechanics of cyanobacterial carboxysomes. Nanoscale, 2017, 9: 10662-10673, DOI:10.1039/C7NR02524F). Link: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/uol-nrh060817.php; https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/research/news/articles/nanotechnology-reveals-hidden-depths-bacterial-machines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170608123523.htm
 
Description Primary school visit for the Science week 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The activity consisted in 2x2h sessions with 2 year 6 classes in a primary school in Liverpool (Mosspits Lane primary school) for the Science week 2017. The children were offered activities focusing on scales in biology, use of microscopy and building their own magnifier.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I gave an introductory lecture on molecular and cellular biology of cancer and have demonstrated how 3D/4D imaging has helped our understanding of cell migration. The students were fascinated and provided excellent feedback.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description School visit to the CCI 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 50 A-level students visited the Institute of Integrative Biology, and were given a talk about imaging in the 5 dimensions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description School visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We have regular visits from groups from Secondary School in the Institute (in addition to the Open Days) and the visit of the Centre for Cell Imaging is always a high point as illustrated by the testimony from one of our visitor (see link below).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL https://blogandlog.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/visit-from-a-level-biology-students/
 
Description Talk at EMBO symposium "Seeing is Believing- 2017" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Short talk regarding an innovative hydrogel for embedding samples for different kind of microscopy, mainly Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy. The talk triggered quite some interest and samples of this hydrogel were requested by several international institutions including Morgridge Institute for Research (Winsconsin, USA) and European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Heidelberg)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.embo-embl-symposia.org/symposia/2017/EES17-08/index.html
 
Description Work experience placement 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact One year 12 student from a local school attended a one week work experience placement in the Centre for Cell Imaging, which taught them how microscopes are used in biological research. Further placements are planned following the success of this placement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://blogandlog.wordpress.com/tag/cci/