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Advanced Microscopy and Confocal Microscopy

Course Description

Imaging of biological samples and of live cells and tissues in research projects has grown enormously over the past decade or so but many researchers have received minimal training in the theory and use of microscopes in their undergraduate studies.

Following on from the introductory two day course, this advanced three day course will cover some of the more advanced aspects of imaging and will give students a sound grounding in advanced microscopical techniques and image analysis.

This course is aimed at:

  • students who attended the introductory course and now want to learn more, or
  • students with a good grounding in imaging who would like to develop specific advanced skills
The three days will consist of:
  • a one day lecture/seminar session on
    • confocal microscopy
    • fluorescent dyes and indicators
    • advances in fluorescent proteins
    • the four letter F words (FRET, FRAP, FLIP & FLIM)
    • image processing and analysis
    • multiphoton microscopy
    • Second Harmonic Imaging techniques

  • The remaining time will be spent in hands-on workshops of 2-3 people learning to use these imaging techniques on a variety of different tissues.
    • Students will be able to learn to label live cells with dyes or genes using a variety of techniques including electroporation and the use of a Gene Gun
    • Conventional confocal microscopy for real-time calcium imaging and time-lapse confocal microscopy of embryo development
    • More advanced techniques such as FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photo-bleaching) and FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) will also be covered

    Basic image analysis will include:
    • scaling of images
    • image enhancement
    • thresh-holding
    • segmentation
    • aerial measurements (area, length etc of objects)
    • densitometry This will go on to explore volume rendering applications for 3D data sets – students are welcome to bring their own data sets along to work with.

There will be the opportunity to image students' own samples and to try new techniques on their preparations.

Please note, students enrolling in this course must have attended Introduction to Microscopy and Confocal Microscopy

If you enrol on this course and have not attended 'Introduction to Microscopy and Confocal Microscopy' you may have your registration cancelled.

Researcher Development Framework Categories

A1) Knowledge base

Course Recommended for

This course is particularly relevant to the following groups:

  • 1st Year Research Students
  • 2nd Year Research Students
  • 3rd Year Research Students
  • 4th Year Research Students

Course Organisers

  • Course Director - Prof David Becker - (Cell and Developmental Biology)
  • Administrator - Ms Kasia Bronk - (Organisational & Staff Development)

Further Web Resources

Further Reading

  • B.Herman RMS, Fluorescence Microscopy, 2nd Ed
  • Lippincott-Schwartz J & Patterson G., Science 300 (pgs 87-91), 2003
  • North, A.J., J.Cell. Biol. (pgs 172, 9-18), 2006
  • Shaner, N.C. et al, Nature Methods (pgs 2, 905-909, 2005


24-26 Mar 2015 expand

Page last updated: 22nd July 2010