Our group at the Rowland Institute specializes in the application of novel microscopy techniques. In particular, we take advantage of high-speed imaging to give new insight into the swimming behaviour of a range of microorganisms, including E. coli, C. reinhardtii, and the malaria parasite Plasmodium. Check out the links to the left for more details about who we are and what we do.
We've recently updated the section on 'research and techniques' to include information about a recent paper in PNAS, about high-speed holographic microscopy of malaria microgametes - how we do it and why. This paper was recently covered in the UK by the BBC. You can get the fanciest-looking holographic reconstruction movies by clicking this link (note: file sizes up to 36 MB)
Holographic microscopy data showing a malaria (Plasmodium) microgamete - a model eukaryotic flagellum. The raw data (flat panel highlighted in red) and intermediate stages of shape extraction and smoothing are shown on the left. The object on the right is a contour showing the best-fit shape of the flagellum. All objects are to scale; the pixels on the raw image are 230 nm on a side, and the final contour is made of straight sections, 700 nm in length and 200 nm in diameter.
Fluorescently-labelled E. coli cells, stuck to a glass slide. The flagella are individually about 20 nm in diameter, and each flagellar helix is about 10 μm long. The flagella are rigid structures that are driven by molecular motors embedded in the cell membrane.