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Mark Taylor, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and cell biology and director of the University of South Alabama Bioimaging Facility at the USA College of Medicine, was awarded a one-year equipment grant by the National Institutes of Health to obtain a state-of-the art confocal imaging system. The grant award totals $394,644.
The Andor Revolution WD Confocal Imaging system purchased on the grant is a specialized fluorescence-based microscope that allows for fast-three-dimensional imaging of signaling events within live cells and tissues. The system also incorporates a novel technology called hyperspectral imaging through fluorescence excitation-scanning, or HIFEX.
HIFEX was developed by Drs. Silas Leavesley, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Tom Rich, associate professor of pharmacology. The combination of scanning speed, spatial resolution, field depth, and fluorophore – a fluorescent chemical compound that re-emits light – offers a level of discrimination unmatched by any existing imaging system.
“The new imaging system’s capabilities are going to allow us to peer deeper into the inner workings of biological systems and see unprecedented detail of cellular communication,” Dr. Taylor said. “The novel high-speed hyperspectral imaging approach will pioneer new areas of research and promises to foster bold new collaborative projects within the university.”
The instrument will provide cutting-edge capability for live-cell and tissue imaging. This includes real-time analysis of the biological signals responsible for a wide range of disease processes. Experimental applications include resolving key components of cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary pathology as well as tracking infectious disease processes and mechanisms of cancer metastasis.
“This is a real step forward for the research efforts here in the USA College of Medicine and the university as a whole,” Dr. Taylor said. “Inclusion of this new system into the existing bioimaging facility greatly expands our research capability, and I’m excited to see where it leads.”
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