Superresolution microscope to enhance cancer research at Texas Tech

Researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center's pharmacy school in Amarillo now have access to a microscope so powerful it can make living cells visible, local news station KFDA reported Jan. 19. 

The superresolution microscope, made by Leica Microsystems, can magnify details as small as 50 nanometers or below. 

"This will help us to explore what new treatment, new drugs can do to cells," Ulrich Bickel, MD, professor at the university's Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, told the station. "This will advance our research capability enormously, because this wasn't possible until very recently." 

Because of the microscope's capabilities, Dr. Bickel said he expects other universities will want to collaborate on research projects over the next few years. 

The pharmacy school also purchased an imaging instrument that allows researchers to analyze living cells for longer periods of time without damaging them, as well as a microscope that allows for high resolution visibility of live animals' organs in a noninvasive manner. 

The school of pharmacy was able to purchase the imaging equipment after receiving a $2.8 million dollar grant from the Austin-based Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. 

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