New confocal microscope in Biology Department sees inside cells, enables 3D imaging
A sophisticated, research-grade confocal microscope was recently purchased by SUNY
Fredonia for use in the Biology Department.
The Leica Microsystems SP8 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope takes images of structures
inside of cells with exceptional clarity. “It is analogous to an MRI that is used
in medicine which allows you to see inside the body, but instead of using magnetic
resonance the confocal allows us to take ‘optical sections’ through a specimen,” said
Dr. Scott Ferguson. These sections can be reassembled in a computer to generate a
3D representation of the cell and the structures therein.
The microscope has already generated exciting data in Dr. Ferguson’s research lab
and his Molecular Genetics lab course, and it will serve as a key instrument in his
$250,000. National Science Foundation funded research project. Dr. Scott Medler is
also utilizing the microscope in his research studying skeletal muscle physiology
and the effects of exercise on muscle fiber types.
The microscope, which carries a price tag of $311,000, was purchased using money from
a dedicated equipment budget that is part of the science center’s construction fund.