The Cox Group
Group leader: Dr Susan Cox
Research in our lab is aimed at improving the resolution of fluorescence microscopy. The properties of light mean that standard microscopes can at best resolve features which are around 200nm apart. However, many biological features are smaller than this. Over the last twenty years, a number of super-resolution techniques have been developed which substantially improve the resolution that can be achieved. However, these techniques are often slow, or damaging to the sample. Our focus is on developing improved super-resolution techniques that allow data to be taken in live cells.
We also investigate the role of force in regulating cell behaviour, using a combination of atomic force microscopy and fluorescence microscopy to apply force to cells in a controlled way and simultaneously image them.
Cytoskeleton of a live cardiac myocyte, with alpha actinin labelled. The cytoskeleton moves every time the cell beats, but also develops and changes over long time periods. This live cell has been imaged with Bayesian analysis of blinking and bleaching, which allows us to enhance the effective resolution of a standard widefield microscope. By observing the cytoskeleton in live cells at such high resolution we hope to learn more about what role fine scale structures play in heart cell function, and how they change over time.