Biomolecular imaging: single cells

In a collaboration with Nick Winograd at the Penn State University we are working to implement mass spectrometry imaging, specifically SIMS, directly on single biological cells. We have produced some spectacular images of mating tetrahymena, that show lipids changing when the curvature changes. We are working on the use of molecular imaging to examine lipid domains to understand the structure and biophysics of the membrane in regulating exocytosis and to probe cholesterol as a marker of lipid domains that might play a role in determining, for example, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disease states. In addition, transmitter release patterns from individual sites and the hypothesis that transmitters are stored in large amounts in the vesicle halo are being tested. Finally, we are developing QStar MALDI technology from MDS/Sciex for SIMS imaging at higher mass resolution and better sensitivity to measure events happening near the neuronal membrane.
USA National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Published: Thu 21 Jun 2012. Modified: Thu 17 Apr 2014