Super, resolution

One of the difficulties with peroxisomes is that they are really, really small. And now we know they are even smaller. 100 nm diameter. Let's not forget that the light we are using in light microscopy has a wavelength of e.g. 500 nm. So a peroxisome is one fifths of the wavelenght of light. One does not have to be a physiscist to understand that this poses a problem. In fact, physicists know that the limits of resolution of conventional light microscopy are in the range of half the wavelength of the light, that is 250 nm. Enter Nobel-worthy super-resolution microscopy. PhD student Kareem, in cooperation with the Department of Stefan Hell at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, have used STED mircoscopy to analyse peroxisomes in human skin fibroblasts. We found that peroxisomes are not only small, they are also altered in a characteristic manner in cells from patients with peroxisome biogenesis disorders.

New light on old orgnelles - using STED microscopy on skin fibroblasts