Our research mainly uses confocal microscopy techniques to visualise and conceptualise cell-cell interactions that are generally hidden to the human eye. Using fluorescent reporter we can make structures such as nerve cells visible, track disease-relevant proteins over time and understand how these processes contribute to human disease.

We have access to several microscopes that allow us to visualise motor neuron degeneration and cell-cell interactions in unprecedented details. Importantly, we can visualise these events in the spinal cord of living zebrafish, allowing us to decipher the complex interplay of different cell types in real-time and in a living animal.

Time-lapse video (rendered) of a microglial cell responding to a degenerating nerve cell in the CNS.

We further use with novel LightSheet-microscopy to capture these events with high temporal resolution. LightSheet microscopy can be applied to much larger areas (the whole zebrafish trunk) and over extended periods of time (no out-of-focus excitation or phototoxic effects). A single z-projection of a neuron can be captured in a few seconds instead of several minutes (with a standard confocal microscope).