Three-dimensional (3D) fluorescence imaging microscopy of individual living cells is an essential tool for cellular biology, pathology and the study of infection and virulence therein. However, today, one critical constraint of established techniques is that samples must be stabilised by attachment to an optically transparent surface, thereby completely precluding their use for non-adherent cell types. The severity of this limitation becomes clear when one considers that for basic- and biomedical-research, cell-based assay and cell-diagnostic applications some of the most important targets are non-adherent cells, for example, stem cells, systemic cancer cells and lymphocytes. We therefore propose a completely new 3D imaging strategy targeted specifically at live, non-adherent cells. The core technology combines proprietary state of the art hardware for suspended cell manipulation with super high-speed dynamic imaging methods. Around this, our consortium draws together unique expertise from four SME and three academic teams providing the necessary critical-mass to industrialize this methodology as 1) a routine research-bench tool, and 2) a high-throughput, high-content imaging device AUTOMATION (automated tomographic analysis station).
Towards these goals completed pilot studies already demonstrate the feasibility for hardware and mathematical development, which will pave the way towards prototype design, and construction. As such, AUTOMATION envisages an altogether new micro-imaging technology; enabling hands-off, rapid, quantitative 3D reconstruction, as never before realised. While offering the promise of benefits across multiple areas of FP6 biomedical research, the primarily technological aims of AUTOMATION place it outside the FP6 thematic priority. However, combining ambitious goals with new and exclusive technologies the NEST-Adventure programme wholly embraces the essence of our initiative.
Field of science
- /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/cells technologies/stem cells
- /social sciences/sociology/industrial relations/automation
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project