The National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant to MBL Associate Scientist Michael Shribak to further develop two microscopy techniques that were invented at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL): quantitative orientation-independent differential interference contrast (OI-DIC) and polarized light microscopy. Shribak’s proposed next-generation techniques will be used to study the architectural dynamics of live biological specimens, with emphasis on events associated with cell division. They will also be used to analyze the correspondence between structural signatures in different live organisms, as well as their genetic background.
Shribak’s proposed new OI-DIC system will be combined with the confocal fluorescence microscope in order to restore the 3D distribution of refractive index. Shribak will also build an instantaneous OI-DIC, which will provide the best temporal resolution and allow the elimination of artifacts caused by movements in the components of live cells. The proposed polychromatic polarized light microscope employs a new principle of generating interference color and produces a color image of cellular birefringent structures with retardances of several nanometers, which was not possible before.
Caption: Random pattern of 4.5 µm silicon beads in immersion media imaged with orientation-independent differential interference contrast (OI-DIC) microscopy. Credit: Michael Shribak