New Microscope installed in Department of Biochemistry @Bio21

28 August 2019

An exciting new microscope has been installed in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Node of the Biological Optical Microscopy Platform this week. The system was purchased with funds from the Australian Research Council’s LIEF scheme in an application led by the University of Melbourne colleagues, Leann Tilley, Staffan Persson and Paul McMillan.

The Zeiss Elyra Adaptive Optics Super-Resolution Microscope (AO-SRM) combines Airyscan Super-Resolution, Total-Internal Reflection and 3D Single Molecule Localisation Microscopy capabilities and is the first of its kind in the world.

As Leann says: “It will provide cell biologists with distortion-free imaging well beyond the optical resolution limit.”

The last decade has witnessed a revolution in fluorescence microscopy through the introduction of super-resolution microscopy techniques that exploit ground-breaking optical/computational approaches to overcome the “diffraction limit” of light microscopy. The next frontier is to use adaptive optics to correct for aberrations introduced by the microscope or the specimen.

As Paul McMillan notes: "This microscope borrows adaptive optics developments from astronomers who use it to make the resolution of ground-based telescopes as good as or better than the Hubble space telescope".

The commissioning team are very grateful for the support of Department Head, Ian van Driel, and Strategy & Operations Manager, Katarina Prince, who made it possible to meet the very exacting environmental requirements for the system.

Purchase of the system was also supported by funds from Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology, La Trobe University, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong and University of New South Wales.