Using light’s properties to indirectly see inside a cell membrane

For those not involved in chemistry or biology, picturing a cell likely brings to mind several discrete, blob-shaped objects; maybe the nucleus, mitochondria, ribosomes and the like. There’s one part that’s often overlooked, save perhaps a squiggly line indicating the cell’s border: the membrane. But its role as gatekeeper is an essential one, and a […]

New microscopy method provides unprecedented look at amyloid protein structure

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are often accompanied by amyloid proteins in the brain that have become clumped or misfolded. At Washington University in St. Louis, a newly developed technique that measures the orientation of single molecules is enabling, for the first time, optical microscopy to reveal nanoscale details about the structures of […]

New Imaging “Blinks” So You Don’t Miss Proteins Causing Alzheimers & Other Age-Related Diseases

Tiny protein structures called amyloids are key to understanding certain devastating age-related diseases. Amyloids form plaques in the brain, and are the main culprits in the progression of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. “In patients you see these huge plaques, but that’s the endpoint of the disease. It’s not the beginning,” said Matthew Lew, PhD, assistant […]

New, fundamental limit to ‘seeing and believing’ in imaging

Answers to big questions increasingly require access to the realm of the very small. As researchers continue to push the limits of imaging, a scientist at Washington University in St. Louis has uncovered a fundamental barrier to accuracy when it comes to measuring the rotational motion of molecules. Lew Matthew Lew, assistant professor in the […]

‘Blink’ and you won’t miss amyloids

Engineering team just found new way to see proteins that cause Alzheimer’s, other diseases From the WashU Newsroom… Tiny protein structures called amyloids are key to understanding certain devastating age-related diseases. Aggregates, or sticky clumped-up amyloids, form plaques in the brain, and are the main culprits in the progression of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. Amyloids […]

Pushing the imaging envelope

NIH grant to help engineers visualize Alzheimer’s From the WashU Newsroom… With support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an engineer at Washington University in St. Louis plans to push the envelope of microscopic imaging to better visualize the molecules involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Matthew Lew, assistant professor of electrical & systems engineering in the […]