The cover image shows the world’s first observation of rat tracheal tissue in an aqueous environment. The luminal surface of the trachea tissue was successfully imaged using a scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM) from Park Systems. Both the ciliated and non-ciliated cells of trachea tissue are pictured,especially the hair-like details of ciliated cells. The trachea tissue was obtained from Wistar rats. A small piece of the trachea tissue was the nmounted on a glassslide and imaged using Park XE-Bio, a three-in-onemicroscopy system thatcombinesthe SICM,AFM (atomicforcemicroscope) and an inverted optical microscope. For comparison(inset),the same region of the tracheal tissue was imaged using a scanning electron microscope(SEM) after fixation and dehydration.
By using the SICM of Park XE-Bio, Professor Ushiki and his team from Microscopic Anatomy division of Niigata University Medical School, captured the hair-like cells of rat tracheal tissue in liquid. “We can directly acquire cell and tissue images in liquid condition and the resolution is as good as SEM,”said Prof. Ushiki. “With SICM imaging technique, we don’t need to take risk of sample damage that often results during its SEM sample preparation causing image artifacts.” Prof. Ushiki has been activein histology and anatomy research using SEM. Park’s SICM has made live cell imaging in liquid not only possible but also practical for his research and routine imaging needs.
The SICM works like this. A glass nanopipette filled with an electrolyte acts as an ion sensor. It provides feedback on its location relative to a sample completely immersed in liquid. The nanopipette-tip maintainsits distance from the sample by keeping the ionic current constant, applying no force on the sample surface. In this way, unlike SEM or AFM, samples are not at all damaged or even disturbed by the nanopipette tip, and physiological morphology can be measured in liquid condition.
Park XE-Bio by Park Systemsis a powerful 3-in-1 scientific research tool at nanoscale that uniquely combines industry’s only TrueNon-Contact AFM with SICM and an inverted optical microscope on the same platform. Park Systems provides its customers a complete range of SICM solutions including the system, options and software, along with global service and support.