Imaging Core Facilities
Two photon laser scanning microscopy (TPLSM) is a key technology in live cell and tissue imaging because it minimizes phototoxic effects and offers the possibility to image deep into tissues. A set of instruments using this powerful technology is available in the Imaging Facility at the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy.
The Lumina XR system combines highly sensitive bioluminescence and fluorescence molecular optical imaging with the anatomical precision of digital X-ray. Integrating these three imaging modalities provides researchers with additional capabilities to explore the molecular basis of disease and determine the response to drug therapies.
Fluorescence microscopy takes advantage of molecules that are capable of fluorescence, which is the absorption of energy from specific wavelengths of light and subsequently emitting (or releasing) light of a longer wavelength. The difference between the peak excitation wavelength and emission wavelength during fluorescence decay is known as Stokes" shift. A fluorescence microscope utilizes this characteristic shift to generate microscopic images to study unique structures and behaviors in cells and/or tissues. Combined with sensitive cameras, fluorescence microscopy can provide the user with both qualitative and quantitative data. Epifluorescence (wide field) microscopy is ideal for imaging thin samples such as cell monolayers.
Confocal Microscopy utilizes the basic principles of fluorescence microscopy, but unlike regular epifluorescence (wide field) microscopes, confocal microscopes take advantage of pinhole apertures to preferentially permit focused (or aligned) light through each pinhole to provide a visual representation of the specimen. This feature provides enhanced contrast and superior optical sectioning capabilities; therefore, this technique is ideal for thicker specimens such as multiple cell layers or tissues.