Automated microaxial tomography of cell nuclei after specific labelling by fluorescence in situ hybridisation
Microaxial tomography provides a good means for microscopic image acquisition of cells or sub-cellular components like cell nuclei with an improved resolution. because shortcomings of spatial resolution anisotropy in optical microscopy can be overcome. Thus, spatial information of the object can be obtained without the necessity of confocal imaging. Since the very early developments of microaxial tomography, a considerable drawback of this method was a complicated image acquisition and processing procedure that requires much operator time. In order to solve this problem the Heidelberg 2pi-tilting device has been mounted on the Brno high-resolution cytometer as an attempt to bring together advanced microscopy and fast automated computer image acquisition and analysis. A special software module that drives all hardware components required for automated microaxial tomography and performs image acquisition and processing has been developed. First, a general image acquisition strategy is presented. Then the procedure for automation of axial tomography and the developed software module are described. The rotation precision has been experimentally proved followed by experiments with a specific biological example. For this application. also a method for the preparation of cell nuclei attached to glass fibres has been developed that allows for the first time imaging of three-dimensionally conserved, fluorescence in situ hybridisation-stained cell nuclei fixed to a glass fibre. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.