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Scientists unveil a 3D microscope that visualizes cells without damaging them



A new 3D microscope, called CX-A, can see the internal structure of cells down to the organelles with a resolution of less than 200nm. The microscope works like a MRI machine for cells, taking images from all angles that can be combined into a 3D image. The cell is illuminated by a rotating laser that produces a hologram image of the cell in a non-invasive way

The automated microscope was unveiled by the Nanolive group and comes with software to convert readings into 3D images with key cell components shown in color

This technology will allow scientists to study cells throughout their lifespan. Cells can be observed over periods of hours, days or weeks, so scientists can perform experiments by introducing stimuli and seeing how cells react over time. The user selects how often the images should be taken and leaves the machine to run automatically for as long as it is needed

This could be used to research "how organic processes work, how organelles interact and how mitochondria form intricate networks" EPFL says.


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