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Hydrogel encapsulation for long-term microscopy of living organisms

Penelitian - Scientists demonstrate simple and inexpensive method for rapid encapsulation of small organisms in every stage of development in a photo-crosslinked polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogel soft limits movement in confined spaces. Immobilized animals maintain original morphology in an environment compatible with chemical treatment, optical stimulation, and light-sheet microscopy.

Fluorescence microscopy has a huge impact on biomedical research, provide information about the spatial and temporal gene expression, molecular dynamics, morphology labeled structure, and function as an indicator of genetically encoded calcium that shows the activity of cells that are electrically charged.

Penelitian Hydrogel encapsulation for long-term microscopy of living organisms

A longitudinal study requires sample immobilization during this imaging period while maintaining the health of the organism and maintaining the fluorescent marker function. On the other hand the imaging experiment lasts only a few minutes per sample in several stages due to resource constraints and unwanted changes.

Long-term imaging puts further procedures on mounting the sample in minimal disturbance to the organism. Scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute report findings to Communications Biology a more friendly and compatible immobilization method under necessary environmental conditions such as hydration, temperature, and nutrition.

"We demonstrate a prolonged, three-dimensional neural imaging on Caenorhabditis elegans, the restoration of living organisms after 24 hours, and larger squid scratching," said Kyra Burnett of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and colleagues.

Experiments were applied to various hydrogel conditions and illuminations for immobilization quality and identified paralytic free conditions suitable for high resolution single cell imaging. PEG hydrogel encapsulation provides fast, versatile, and gentle small living organisms from yeast to zebra fish for continuous observation for hours.

Journal : Kyra Burnett et al. Rapid and gentle hydrogel encapsulation of living organisms enables long-term microscopy over multiple hours, Communications Biology, 21 June 2018, DOI:10.1038/s42003-018-0079-6