A new 3D microscope called CX-A can detect the internal structure of cells down to the organelles with a resolution of less than 200 nm. The microscope works like an MRI device for cells and captures images from all angles that can be assembled into a 3D image. The cell is illuminated by a rotating laser that non-invasively creates a hologram image of the cell.
The automated microscope presented by the Nanolive group includes software for converting the measurements into 3D images with key components of the cell displayed in color.
This technology allows scientists to study cells throughout their lifetime. Cells can be observed for hours, days or weeks, allowing scientists to experiment by introducing stimuli and watching how cells respond over time. The user selects how often to take pictures and keeps the machine running automatically for as long as necessary.
This could be used to investigate "how biological processes work, how organelles interact, and how mitochondria form complicated networks," EPFL says.