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Mapping cell surface deformations in macropinocytosis imaged by light sheet microscopy - 15 December 2020

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Speaker: Professor Till Bretschneider, Department of Computer Science and Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology, University of Warwick 

Host: Matthias Krause

Macropinocytosis, the large scale uptake of fluid through internalisation of vesicles, is currently receiving more attention. Not only because it is important in the immune response and can be hijacked by pathogens to enter cells, but also because it was recently found that cancer cells can employ macropinocytosis for nutrient uptake. The latter is shared with amoebae like Dictyostelium, our model organism. Lattice light sheet microscopy has become the tool of choice to image the inherent 3D nature of macropinocytosis, the main advantages being speed and low phototoxicity. It allows us to capture cells at maximum rates of 1 volume per second, over periods of minutes. I will present new computational tools for accurate 3D cell surface segmentation and mapping the spatio-temporal patterns of actin and its regulators, which are responsible for shaping macropinocytic cups. This is followed by a brief outlook on recent machine learning approaches for generative modelling of complex 3D cell data, and feature extraction. Another biological problem where these tools should be very useful is cell migration.

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