Does anyone have extra tubes?

Here's one of the things that was keeping me busy at work on Tuesday.

You probably all recognize this. It's a microscope! I spend a lot of time around microscopes.

In this case we're quantifying the formation of tubes in response to some peptides we added to the cells after first allowing them to grow for 3 days.

In the picture on the left, you can see the 96 well plate that we use to grow the cells in. While we use a lot of different type of cells, in this case we're using a murine (mouse) model.

Since the bottom of the wells in a 96 well plate are so small, it's hard to get a good image of the cells growing there. That's why we wander across campus and go to a core facility which has as its sole purpose to provide imaging assistance to troubled researchers like me.

This is a wider view of the microscope setup that I was using. It's just one of over a dozen workstations. There's a number of different types here ranging from simple dissection scopes to the much more sophisticated confocal microscopes.

Since all I needed was some good images so that I could count branch points (a measure of how much angiogenesis is being induced) I used a fairly simple imaging workstation.

Here's a picture of the screen of the workstation and the tubes being formed in one of the wells.

Exciting, eh? I bet y'all want a job in research now!

The situation here is that we want to find drugs that inhibit angiogenesis. Using tube formation you can test drugs / peptides by seeing how well they inhibit the process. Conversely, if you find a peptide that speeds up angiogenesis the cardiology folk get quite excited. They view increased angiogenesis as a method to help people recover from heart attacks and strokes.

Silly folk. Don't they know that cancer research is far more sexy?!


rosemary said…
Umm, it Dave.
GA Girl said…
Need some explanation of the last picture. Is it an example of many or few branch points?
It's nice to have access to DSL again...
kenju said…
Dave, the reason your counter is so clean is that everything is on the floor in bags (plastic and paper). You can't fool me....LOL
Ivy said…
I actually find this kind of stuff interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Shephard said…
Enjoyed reading that. Interesting. :)

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