Utilizing a Home-Built Confocal Fluorescence Microscope to Study Neuroregeneration
Dr. Brent P. Krueger, Chemistry
Spinal cord injuries affect approximately 282,000 people within the United States alone (National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, Facts and Figures at a Glance. Birmingham, AL: University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2016). Studying neuroregeneration in vertebrates such as zebrafish, to understand the mechanism behind this process, may allow us to apply the concept to humans and assist in recovery from spinal cord injuries. A home-built confocal fluorescence microscope will be used for both live cell imaging and laser ablation. Laser ablation is a technique that will allow us to non-invasively induce the neuroregenerative process by causing individual neurons to undergo apoptosis. Results from a variety of calibration samples and preliminary zebrafish imaging are shown comparing our home-built confocal microscope with a commercial confocal microscope as a standard.
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