Cell organelles

This footage features Primary Human Keratinocytes kindly provided by PromoCell GmbH. In keratinocytes, mitochondria play a role in differentiation, and their dysfunctions are involved in many skin diseases.

Nanolive imaging allows characterizing multiple cell organelles in high resolution and with high sensitivity based on their refractive index. You can explore and measure up to 9 cell organelles simultaneously with unprecedented detail and resolution, marker-free and preparation-free based on their own physical density.

a. Mitochondria

Mitochondrial morphology is important for the function of the cell and, accordingly, altered mitochondrial structure is observed in many pathologies.

However, until today, long-time imaging of mitochondria has been impossible since it relied on the use of fluorescent markers which are toxic to the mitochondria and to the cell in general.

Nanolive imaging allows for the very first time to image living mitochondria at high resolution and high frequency, without impacting the cell health.

Thanks to the high spatio-temporal resolution proper of Nanolive’s technology dynamic details of fusions, fissions and mitochondrial network remodeling can be easily characterized.

Find more videos and information on our dedicated metabolism page: https://nanolive.ch/cellular-metabolism-research/.

b. Lipid droplets

Lipid droplets (LDs) are the major cellular organelles for the storage of lipids. LDs are dynamic structures which play an important role in lipid and energy metabolism actively interacting with other organelles [e.g. mitochondria].

Advantages with Nanolive imaging:

  • Lipid characterization
  • 3D localization of lipid droplets inside living cells
  • Volume measurements
  • Real-time lipogenesis monitoring

Lipid droplets with Nanolive imaging.

Lipid droplets with fluo marker Bodipy and with digital stain – comparison with live cell imaging from Nanolive.

Marker-free 3D visualization of lipid droplets through digital stain

Adipocytes imaged with Nanolive imaging.

c. Actin stress fibers

Stress fibers are bundles of highly compact filamentous actin resulting from actin polymerization that are associated with several cytoskeletal proteins like myosin II and α-actinin in non-muscle cells. They are connected to the underlying matrix – fibronectin in our case – at one or both ends in structures known as focal adhesions.

The high concentration of proteins in stress fibers leads to a detectable refractive index that allows us to visualize the structure under the Nanolive microscopes.

Learn more here: https://nanolive.ch/cytoskeleton/.

d./ e. / f. / g. Nucleus, Nucleoli, Nuclear membrane, Chromosomes

The 3D Cell Explorer is able to discriminate different phases of the cell cycle based on chromatin RI values and monitor changes in nuclear RI, shape and size during mitosis (e.g. DNA condensation, chromosomes alignment and segregation, mitotic spindle formation, metaphase plate, sister chromatids, contractile ring).

Furthermore, it is possible to follow changes in cellular shape and thickness during cell division and measure the processes of surface attachment/detachment.

Read our detailed blogpost here: https://nanolive.ch/mitosis-in-mesenchymal-stem-cells/.

Video of Mesenchymal Stem Cells undergoing mitosis.

Image of Mesenchymal Stem Cells undergoing mitosis. Click on image to enlarge.

h. Plasma membrane

The plasma membrane is a relatively thin yet important interface zone at which many processes that are critical to the cell occur. The phospholipid bilayer acts as both a barrier and a point for interaction with the external environment from which it can internalize and to which it secretes molecules.

Nanolive imaging allows to image this important organelle marker-free and to visualize processes as endocytosis (pinocytosis and phagocytosis) or membrane ruffling in an unprecedented fashion.

Please visit our page about endocytosis here: https://nanolive.ch/endocytosis/ and our blogpost about endothelial cell protrusions here: https://nanolive.ch/protrusions-in-human-umbilical-vein-endothelial-cells/.

i. Endocytic structures

Endocytosis refers to the process of internalization of substances into the cell.

There are two main types of endocytosis: phagocytosis and pinocytosis. While during phagocytosis (video), large particles and bacteria are engulfed, in pinocytosis (image) fluid and molecules contained in it are brought into the cell.

Endocytosis involves cytoskeletal and structural modifications. The 3D Cell Explorer allows visualizing of fine membrane deformations and posterior vesicle formation that occur in endocytic processes.

Learn more on this page: https://nanolive.ch/endocytosis/.

Video of Live Human M1 macrophages phagocytosing E.coli.

Image of pinocytosis stages. Click image to enlarge.