You probably have seen a biological cell. The first biological cell you ever saw was flat. Maybe it’s a diagram in your book or it’s a microscope image on a slide. Today, technology gives you a chance to saw the first-ever HD footage of a Cell moving through the body (it’s your responsibility to watch it in 1080p HD).
In this video, an immune cell migrating through the inner ear of a tiny zebrafish. Before watching this video take a look at science and technology behind this.
Why was it not possible before?
It’s hard enough to zoom in on something so small especially for a set of 3D images. Even scientists have to see 2D images like you. When we try to see just one cell at a time, the cells are illuminated with intense light and our microscopes are too slow to follow all the action in 3D to create a video like this. This is similar to shining a laser to whatever the researcher want to image. This creates a blurry image of the object.
What is the solution?
To overcome this problem, Scientists combined two microscopy technologies: adaptive optics, and lattice light sheet microscopy. Adaptive optics is used by astronomers to see distant celestial objects through Earth’s rippling atmosphere.
In the case of imaging a living organism, they counteract the interruption of bright light with equal but opposite light distortions. This allows greater visibility in their target area.
The second technique lets the scientists capture those crystal-clear images in real-time. It involves rapid and repeated sweeps of ultra-thin sheets of light, which creates a series of 2D images. These images can be built into a moving high-resolution 3D video, all without interfering with its activity.
Combining both, the result is awesome and we get bright, clear, and vibrant images of our cells in action under the microscope.