December 20, 2013, by Charlotte Anscombe

Nottingham awarded funding for Super Resolution Microscope

The School of Life Science has received funding from The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for a Super Resolution Microscope (SRM), worth approximately £700,000.

This funded equipment will be the first of its kind to be installed in the Midlands and is expected to be in use in April 2014.

Much of the fundamental biology of the cell occurs at the level of micro-molecular complexes in the size range of tens to few hundred nanometres (nm), which is beyond the reach of conventional light microscopy, for example Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, which only cellular structures and object at least 200 to 350 nm apart could be resolved as distinct separate structures.

The Super Resolution Microscope (SRM) have been developed to break or bypass the classical diffraction limits and shift the optical resolution down to macro-molecular or even molecular levels. It can locate single molecules down to 20 nm precision. SRM can also provide particle tracking to follow single molecules, e.g. proteins, DNA, drugs, in a sample without compromising resolution.

Professor Miguel Cámara of Molecular Microbiology at School of Life Sciences, said: “We are very excited about having this facility at The University of Nottingham and are hoping it will be a hub for the Midlands to perform state of the art microscopy in the characterisation of biological processes at the molecular level. The microscope will be located at the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences in a class 2 facility to provide a wider scope of use”.

The access will be managed through the Advanced Microscopy Unit and opened to any researchers within the University, industrial and public sector users to enhance the potential impact of research.

BBSRC is investing £10M in advanced scientific research instruments to help keep the UK at the forefront of biological sciences research. The equipment funded includes, the UK’s first two commercial Fluorescence Light Sheet Microscopes and the establishment of a consortium for three-dimensional electron microscopy.

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