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Science  05 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6043, pp. 779
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6043.779-a

Motorized Flat Top Stage

The H117P2NN flat top stage is designed for the Nikon Ti series of inverted microscopes. While the H117P2NN is ideal for all high precision biomedical and material science scanning operations, specific attention was given to designing the H117P2NN to assist the researcher who is doing prolonged live cell studies. The newest version of the stage maximizes access to the nosepiece for correction collar adjustment. Miniaturized drive boxes occupy a fraction of the space of previous models, providing easy access to the nosepiece area of the microscope. By mounting all of the drive components below the top plate, the H117P2NN also provides easy access for micromanipulators, environmental chambers, and robotic loaders. The stage allows for scanning using a very broad range of sample holders, including microtitre plates, slide holders, petri dishes, well plates, flasks, haemocytometers, and metallurgical sample holders.

Real-Time FRAP

The cell∧frap module is designed for the xcellence live cell imaging and manipulation system, which enables users to perform fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching (FRAP), inverse FRAP (iFRAP), fluorescence loss in photo-bleaching (FLIP), and fluorescence loss after photo-bleaching (FLAP) experiments. The cell∧frap system is also ideal for more advanced processes such as photo-conversion, photo-activation, pattern bleaching, and laser cutting and trapping. The module includes its own dedicated laser system and light-path, allowing truly simultaneous imaging and photo-manipulation. These advanced techniques are made easy to control using the intuitive xcellence software interface. The cell∧frap module is introduced into the microscope via a dedicated light-path and can incorporate two separate laser lines or a laser combiner. This enables simultaneous imaging and photo-manipulation, providing full integration of FRAP with epifluorescence, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, and spinning disk confocal microscopy.

Protein Interaction Assays

NodeSensorT Assays allow high content analysis of cellular dynamics and can be used to elucidate cell signaling pathways. In the assay, two interacting proteins are coexpressed in a human cell line, each of them coupled to one fragment of a reporter protein. The two fragments of the reporter protein can interact, re-fold, and generate a detectable signal only when the two test proteins are in close proximity (i.e., within a protein complex). The NodeSensorT System therefore enables sensitive detection and measurement of specific protein complexes. Using inherently fluorescent proteins as reporters, NodeSensorT Assays can be combined with high throughput automated fluorescence microscopy and image analysis. This strategy captures the dynamics of protein complexes, both their formation and their subcellular location, as a result of cellular response to drugs or genetic reagents. The first set of NodeSensorT Assays facilitates direct analysis of a selection of GPCR dimers and certain transcription factors.

Binocular and Trinocular Microscopes

The new lines of Unitron and Accu-Scope microscopes are ideal for applications ranging from small specimen examination to tissue culture and cell biology. The Z850 Stereo Zoom Binocular and Trinocular Microscopes provide superior performance optics at an affordable price. With a zoom range of 0.8×to 5.0× 115 mm working distance, and choice of six different stand options, the Z850 Series microscopes are both versatile and ruggedly built. The 3035 Series Compound Binocular Microscopes are designed for research and other clinical applications. The AIS infinity optical system, renowned for resolution, contrast and clarity, makes these microscopes among the very best in their class. The 3032PH Trinocular Inverted Phase Contrast Microscope Series is ideal for tissue culture and cell biology. These microscopes feature EW 10×2 eyepieces, infinity PL 4× PLPH 10× PLPH 20×objectives, and 6 V 30 W illumination.

Cell Invasion Assays

QCM Gelatin Invadopodia Assays are designed to standardize and enhance the study of cell invasion. The assays are the first and only commercially available kits for studying invadopodia. A common method for visualizing invadopodia and podosome formation involves plating cells onto a fluorescently labeled matrix, such as gelatin. Localized protease activity then causes degradation of the matrix and loss of fluorescence signal. The new QCM Gelatin Invadopodia Assays provide a simplified and standardized protocol for affixing a thin layer of prelabeled fluorescein (green) or Cy3 (red) gelatin to a glass substrate, as well as reagents for colocalizing the actin cytoskeleton and nuclei with degradation sites. The kits enable visualization of degradation produced by normal and malignant cell types. This degradation can be quantified by image analysis methods and used to track proteolytic time course studies, as well as modulator effects on invadopodia formation and ECM degradation.

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