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Interuniversity Course on Advanced Light Microscopy - 2024

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Center of Excellence

Content

Advanced fluorescence microscopy has become increasingly important in life science research in recent years. With this interuniversity course, Flanders BioImaging offers researchers a chance to become familiar with the wide range of advanced techniques available at the microscopy core facilities that are part of Belgium’s Euro-BioImaging Node. During the three-days, participants will be given the theoretical foundations before being immersed in the practical aspects of methods that will allow them to study molecular interactions and dynamics, acquire three-dimensional datasets from large (cm) specimens, and break through the resolution limit in several different ways.

Each day will focus on a different topic and is based at a single core facility; participants who attend all 3 days will thus have the opportunity to become acquainted with the variety of advanced microscopy techniques available within Flanders that can be employed for their own research questions.

Target Group

PhD students and/or (early-career) post-docs interested in applying advanced light microscopy to their research in life sciences. Master students can participate if they can provide a strong letter of motivation. 

The course is open to participants from all Flemish universities, national and international users as well as those from industry.

Topics and Objectives

Over the three-days, participants will be taught the theoretical principles, potential applications and advantages and disadvantages of different advanced imaging methods. Lectures will be provided by experts from the participating institutes, product specialists from cutting-edge microscope manufacturers as well as international speakers. Each afternoon techniques will be illustrated during on-site and remote demonstration sessions. These demonstration sessions are designed to complement the theoretical lectures and are intended to provide insight into the theoretical principles (participants are encouraged to discuss their own data or research projects). Together they form a solid basis for further individual hands-on training at - or collaboration with the organizing core facilities. 

 

“The first day will cover light sheet imaging, expansion microscopy and non-linear optical (NLO) imaging. Light sheet imaging is used to visualize larger (up to cm) samples while maintaining (sub)cellular resolution. To gain further insight into subcellular nanostructures, expansion microscopy can be used. This technique allows nanoscale imaging using conventional diffraction-limited light microscopes based on isotropic expansion of the sample. Non-linear imaging involves the visualization of (label-free) contrast mechanisms in which at least 2 photons are recombined into a single photon. Due to the inherent optical sectioning, greater optical range and the less invasive nature of red-shifted photons employed in NLO imaging, this enables live/three dimensional imaging of larger volumes over extended periods of time.

 

The second day will focus on a set of microscopy methods that can be used to measure molecular dynamics, i.e. the mobility, stability, interactions and conformational changes of molecules or particles. An introduction to Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP), Single Particle Tracking (SPT), single molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (smFRET), Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), Raster Imaging Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS) and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) will be given followed by demonstration sessions of each technique/experimental set-up.

 

 On the third day, we will zoom in on super-resolution microscopy. Super-resolution microscopy refers to a collection of techniques that are able to circumvent the fundamental resolution limit imposed by diffraction through various means. The techniques covered include: Airyscan, SIM (SIM-TIRF), SML and STED. Lectures will explain the theory behind the different principles to break the diffraction barrier employed in each technique. Practical sessions will illustrate the possibilities, advantages and disadvantages of enhanced resolution imaging.

Provisional Dates and Venues

  • ·    Day 1: October 2024: University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1 2610 Wilrijk, Antwerp

  • ·    Day 2: November 2024: University of Hasselt, Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan Gebouw C – B -3590 Diepenbeek

  • ·    Day 3: December 2024: KULeuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven

Registration

Please follow this link: 

 

If the course is fully booked, you can ask to be added to the waiting list in case of cancellations by sending an e-mail to: christopher.cawthorne@kuleuven.be

Registration fee

Registration Fees include admission, course materials, lunch and coffee breaks. Participants are expected to book and pay their own accommodation and travel expenses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions for payment are given after confirmation of acceptance.

 

Number of participants and motivation letter

The workshop will accommodate a maximum of  25 participants. Applicants will be selected based on  background knowledge, with special preference given to those who can demonstrate an interest in application of advanced light microscopy methods to their own research.

 

Therefore we ask applicants to provide a short motivation letter (max. 1 A4) describing their experience level and qualifications and a description of the (planned) application of advanced light microscopy in their research, explaining why you would like to attend and how you think you will benefit from the course (letters to be sent to tobie.martins@kuleuven.be or christopher.cawthorne@kuleuven.be).

Preference will be given to those who wish to attend the whole 3-day course.

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Organizing & Scientific Committee

This course is organized by the members of Flanders BioImaging, a consortium of imaging core facilities in Flanders.

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