Instantaneous 3D imaging of cells and tissues using polarized light microscopy
We are proposing to develop the polarized light field microscope for analyzing the architectural dynamics inside living cells, tissues and cell-free model systems. The instrument combines comprehensive polarization analysis and 3D imaging of microscopic specimens in a single snapshot using the new approach of light field imaging. The project includes the development of the hardware, software and algorithms required for capturing polarized light field images and their tomographic reconstruction into 3-dimensional maps of birefringence, diattenuation and polarized fluorescence. The instrument development is guided by several application projects including the remodeling of the extracellular collagen matrix by fibroblast cells, the spatial coordination in the assembly of higher order septin structures inside eukaryotic cells and the origins of chromosome malorientations and their repair in the meiotic spindle of spermatocytes. Information about the technology, including software components and instrument design that are developed under this grant, will be made available for users and developers on an established web portal called OpenPolScope.org.