Live-cell wavefront metrology

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science


The study of living organisms is increasingly based on studies of the dynamics of processes occurring within the living organism rather than, as in the past, the study of dead, stained, dehydrated and sectioned secimens. Wavefront sensing techniques used to measure the effects of atmospheric turbulence on high-precision imaging in astronomy provide a mechanism for the tracking of the fluorescent particles frequenlty used as tracers in live-cell imaging. This biology application has much in common with astronomy - the light levels available are low (stars are faint, bright fluorescent particles poisen the cells), the observation may be subject to time and space-varying distortions (due to the atmosphere in astronomy, due to the specimen itself in live-cell imaging), dependent on the application, different spectral (colour) regions or spectral bands may need to be used. This programme seeks to use wavefront sensing techniques developed for use in astronomy to the problems of imaging 3-dimensional and time-varying processes in biology. Many developmental studies of living specimens will benefit from a successful application of these techniques.


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