Stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED): Nanoscopy for innovative research in the life sciences

01 May 2020 → 30 April 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Bacteriology
    • Virology
    • Cell movement
    • Cellular interactions and extracellular matrix
    • Cytoskeleton
    • Intracellular compartments and transport
    • Membrane structure and transport
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Biopharmaceutics
    • Pharmaceutical technology
    • Physical pharmacy
microscopy biophotonics life sciences imaging
Project description

The well-known adagio ‘seeing is believing’ is as much of relevance to life science research today as it ever was. Since the invention of the first microscopes almost 400 years ago, there has been an ongoing strive to ever see more details within organisms, tissues and cells. Based on fundamental physics from the nineteenth century, it was long thought impossible to see beyond a resolution of ~200 nm with light microscopes. However, thanks to recent advances in fluorescent labels and laser technology, it is now possible to improve this resolution by a staggering factor of 10, making ‘nanoscopy’ a reality. This Nobel Prize winning work is undoubtedly one of the most significant technological advances of the early 21st century, allowing an unprecedented view on living biological specimen almost down to the molecular level. Since this ground-breaking technology is currently not present at UGent or its surroundings, we propose to acquire a state-of-the art STED nanoscope for the benefit of our life science researchers. Broad interest in nanoscopy is evidenced by the support from a large consortium of 25 ZAP promoters from all of the 5 life science faculties. This unique instrument will be hosted and supported by the Centre for Advanced Light Microscopy, established in 2018 as one of the ‘Centres of Expertise’ of Ghent University with the ambition to support high quality life science research at UGent with state-of-the-art microscopy equipment and expertise.