Long-term automated live cell microscopy

Tissue cells, the alive building blocks of organisms, exhibit fascinating properties: they syntetize a vast variety of chemicals, gather and process information about their surroundings, communicate, move across rugged environments or alter their biochemical composition. Advances in microscopy, culturing techniques, molecular probes and computing  made possible the current revival of  live cell microscopy: to see the cells in action. The significance of the method lies in the twofold possibilities, to reveal the dynamics of biological changes, and to yield a large array of quantitative data.

Our live cell imaging stations consists automated microscopes, capable for parallel monitoring of a number of specimens for an extended period of time. These long-term observations form the basis of obtaining cell motion  and cell division statistics from a large number of cells, or to trace developmental processes such as neuronal differentiation. We keep improving the culturing techniques and also devote efforts to develop new ways of statistical data extraction from time-lapse image sequences.

The laboratory was initiated by Tamas Vicsek in 1996. Since then, a number of students and department staff made substantial contribution to its development, which was first managed by Andras Czirok and later by Balint Szabo. Various optical elements were designed by Otto Haiman. Microscope and incubator controller electronics was created by Miklos Csiszer, Zoltan Csahok and David Selmeczi. Controller software was written by Andras Czirok and David Selmeczi. Hardware parts were machined by Sandor Hopp and Endre Berecz. Tissue culture expertise was provided by Emilia Madarasz, Katalin Schlett, Zsuzsanna Kornyei, Balazs Hegedus and Elod Mehes.
Research projects:

  • cell motion statistics

  • neural progenitors

  • astrocytes

  • astroglia/stem cell interactions

  • laminin-cell interaction

  • nuclear motion

  • glioblastoma motility

  • Related technology