New microscopic technique visualizes disease and health at the cellular level

New microscopic technique visualizes disease and health at the cellular level

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Many different types of cells are involved in many disease processes

Scientists from Maastricht University have developed a technique to more accurately map different cell types and their location in tissues. This new microscopic method enables scientists to better understand disease processes such as atherosclerosis and cancer. The first results of this new technology have been published in the leading scientific journal cell metabolism.

Many different types of cells are involved in many disease processes. To understand how diseases develop, it is important to know the types of cells that make up tissues. Until recently, microscopic imaging allowed researchers to distinguish up to five types of cells at the same time, by giving those containing certain substances a different colour. UM scientists have developed a new method that simultaneously visualizes up to fifteen different types of cells. To do this, they used a technique called multispectral microscopy. They view cells like white light passing through a prism and showing all the colors of the rainbow: the cells are not visible as a single colour, but as a unique group of different colours. In this way they monitor more cells at the same time, and know better what types of cells are made up of particular tissues.

To communicate
The Maastricht scientists method can locate each cell type in a tissue and show the types of cells present in close proximity (called cell communities). It is known that neighboring cells influence each other: for example, inflammatory cells in tumor tissues counteract the defenses of tumor cells, with significant negative consequences for the course of the disease. “We can now investigate how certain types of cells communicate with each other and whether they are involved in the disease process,” explains UM researcher Pieter Goossens (Experimental Vascular Pathology). In addition, the researchers linked their microscopy technology to imaging technology (mass spectrometry) from the M4I Institute. This new method now allows researchers to map the molecular environment of cells and its influence on their behaviour. This provides starting points for medical treatment.”


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Name of author and/or editor by:
Maastricht UMC +
Photographer or photographic agency:
INGImages
The source of this article:
Maastricht UMC +
What is the URL for this resource?:
https://www.mumc.nl/actueel/nieuws/disease-en-Gezondheid-op-cellevel-beeld-met-nieuwe-microscopic-techniek
Original title:
Disease and health at the cellular level with a new microscopic technology
the target audience:
Health care professionals and students
Date:
2022-08-04

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