In a recent video posted on “Cambridge University’s YouTube channel”, Professor Gillian Griffiths and co-workers prove how the Life Science Community can benefit from modern and innovative cell imaging technologies for understanding cellular activity.
In their recent study (1) and film (2), the research team captured real-time behaviour of Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) hunting down, moving and killing cancer cells.
This study clearly illustrates the major breakthrough related to new high spatial and temporal resolution, multi-colour, 3D time-lapse imaging microscopy techniques, which image the entire cell volume and display cellular events at micrometre level.
Watch this fascinating video:
Killer T-Cell Credit: Gillian Griffiths/Jonny Settle .
Professor Gillian Griffiths, Dr Yukako Asano and Akex Ritter – Cambridge Institute for Medical Research – Department of Medicine of the Clinical School (NIH OxCam programme with funding from the Wellcome Trust)
1) Ritter A.T. et al. “Actin depletion initiates events leading to granule secretion at the immunological synapse” (2015) Immunity 42, 864–876. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.04.013
2) Body’s ‘serial killers’ captured on film destroying cancer cells – See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news
As scientists better understand the benefits of growing cells in three dimensions (3D) and routinely adopt 3D culture techniques, methods for visualising cells must also be adapted and optimised.
The most common and routinely used technique for tracking two dimensional (2D) cell cultures is light microscopy. Traditional 2D monolayer cultures are highly transparent and within a single optical plane. The minimal light diffraction and diffusion presented by the plastic surface allows the collection of focussed microscopic images. Cells cultured in genuine 3D environments, such as in Alvetex®Scaffold, present some of the same constraints as tissue samples or biopsies, in that simple, live observation of cultures via phase microscopy is not optimal.
There are however, other techniques that can be implemented which will allow the user to monitor culture progress easily and effectively in 3D.