Scientists from the Tomsk Polytechnic University together with German and American colleagues provided the public with an innovative design — a method that allows us to study the development of embryos and analyze the movement of internal structures and cells with the help of computer tomography and X-ray.
The method is applicable in molecular biology, genetics, and is likely to help answer fundamental questions in embryonic development. Also, the method will be useful for drug development and research of human diseases.
The publication was prepared under the supervision of experts from the institute in Karlsruhe (Germany). Instead of using the absorption of X-ray scientists used a method that is based on diffraction.
"The diffraction of X-rays range allow you to visualize tissues with high resolution — said Ralph Hoffman, a physicist at the Karlsruhe Institute. — In this paper, we not only were able to distinguish individual cell structure and of themselves, but also to analyze their migration and dynamics of groups of cells that form organs. Diffraction helps to significantly reduce the dose of X-rays, and this is extremely important in the study of tissues of living organisms. "
The study examined the early stage of development of the South African frog embryo. This animal model organism in basic cell biology, embryology, neurobiology and toxicology. In the early stages of development (called gastrulation) of clusters of hundreds of cells in the embryo becomes layered, complex organism, the cells in which differentiation form because the nervous system, muscles and internal organs. The frog embryo at this stage is opaque and explore its optical method, such as microscopy, will not work. Because cellular processes that go inside the embryo, yet are poorly understood.
"In the application of X-ray emission we were able to observe the interaction and movement of individual cells, the collective processes such as the formation of individual organs, — Yubin said Kashefi, a zoologist. — This is a unique opportunity to see such processes in the developing embryo. "
Scientists have combined the technology to visualize the internal structure of organisms with automated processing algorithms and analysis for the dynamics of embryonic cell movement and development.
"The data are obtained from X-ray detectors (a series of X-rays), pass through several stages, — Explains doctoral student at the German University and a member of at the Department of General Physics, TPU Alexey Ershov. — The information can be analyzed only after complex processing, segmentation and reconstruction, the use of algorithms that compute the driving dynamics and three-dimensional visualization. "
Development was carried out under the project «UFO: Ultrafast X-ray Imaging». The aim was to create stations for experiments with synchrotron radiation sources that could provide a four-dimensional imaging at high resolution, and the ability to manage and evaluate the experiment with a continuous incoming data.
TPU cooperation with the University of Karlsruhe started in 1993 with research and technology in the electric power at high voltages. Already in 1995, Adolf Schwab, director of the Institute for Energy Systems and high-voltage technology at the University of Karlsruhe, was made an honorary professor at the TPU. Now the cooperation of TPU and the TEC is in physics, electrical engineering and power industry, nanotechnology, biomedicine and ecology.
Students from the Department of PTI on general physics and AIKS IR regularly travel to the internship at the Institute for Photonic Research and synchrotron radiation at KIT. Graduates of the TPU can attend graduate school at the Institute of Photonic and synchrotron radiation research at KIT.
Next TPU and KIT plan to develop academic exchange of students and staff, practice and training graduate students, the organization of scientific events, and, most importantly — a research project that will provide answers to global challenges.