Super-resolution microscopy techniques are now routine for imaging of live and fixed cells with high spatial resolution. However, many of these techniques capture images very slowly, and they lack the high speed needed to explore and quantify cellular dynamics at time scales required to measure important processes such as molecular diffusion. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is one technique that enables the study of these fast processes, but the spatial resolution of FCS is limited by the optics used.
This project will make use of a new STED – FCS - FLIM microscope recently purchased by the University of Strathclyde as part of a BBSRC ALERT award to explore fast molecular diffusion. However, rather than applying the recently proven combination of stimulated emission depletion (STED) and FCS techniques, we will here explore a totally new method to achieve this aim, which provides inherent global 3D FCS measurements at speeds limited only by the detector electronics. Successful implementation will provide new insights into molecular dynamics in bacterial and mammalian cell membranes.
Applicants should have a degree in Physics, Chemistry, Bioscience, Biophysics or similar and should be motivated to explore new research questions and directions. Some previous experience in microscopy, photo-physics, optical instrumentation or fluorescence spectroscopy is desirable but not required. The project will combine experimental measurements, methods development and advanced data analysis, as well as the preparation of live cell specimens.
The project is anticipated to start in Autumn 2022, but an earlier start may be possible.
For informal enquiries, please contact Gail McConnell, Group Leader of the Centre for Biophotonics: firstname.lastname@example.org.