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Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb gets €600,000 super-resolution microscope

Zagreb's Ruđer Bošković Institute gets super-resolution microscope

(Photo: Ruđer Bošković Institute)

ZAGREB, 15 Sept (Hina) – A €600,000 microscope for stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, enabling the exploration of the most complex parts of cell structure and development of optimal innovative STED technology protocols for application in biomedicine, has arrived at Zagreb’s Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB).

The institute said that the microscope was procured with the help of funding granted under a project that is part of the European Fund for Regional Development and that it was the first such microscope in Croatia.

It will be used by the IRB laboratory headed by Professor Iva Tolić.

“With the help of the STED microscope we can see three times smaller structures in the cell than we could before with a standard confocal microscope. We will use it to study cell division or chromosomes. It is very important for division how chromosomes are connected to microtubules, which are protein tubes that bind chromosomes and pull them to opposite ends of the cell.

With this type of microscopy, we will be able to detect how microtubules are attached to chromosomes in various stages of division spindle formation, which is still unknown because most research so far has been conducted using a confocal microscope that cannot distinguish these key connections,’’ explains Professor Tolić.

Stimulated emission depletion microscopy is one of the techniques that make up super-resolution microscopy. It is a method used to bypass the diffraction limit of light microscopy in studying the smallest structures of matter. German physicist Stefan W. Hell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014 for its development.

The application of STED technologies will help IRB researchers to conduct, in cooperation with physicists at the Zagreb Faculty of Science, the research of signalling proteins and live human tumour cells following the application of potential cancer treatment drugs.

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