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Researchers Analyze Molecular Diffusion Inside Cells With New Olympus Confocal Microscope Software

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., April 13, 2010 – Researchers studying the movement, interactions, and microenvironments of intracellular molecules often need to analyze information on the patterns and rates with which molecules diffuse within the cells. Now, scientists have three powerful methods of measuring and analyzing intracellular molecular diffusion, thanks to the new Diffusion Measurement Package for Olympus ASW 2.1 software. The software allows researchers to do three different types of diffusion studies using Olympus FluoView® confocal microscope systems, providing flexibility for the widest variety of cell biology and biophysics requirements.

The first type of diffusion study, Point Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (Point FCS), allows particle-by-particle analysis of signal fluctuation. By recording the fluctuation of fluorescence intensity, the number of particles that are moving can be calculated. With its high spatial and temporal resolution, this technique works well for fast-moving particles. It can output data based on either the diffusion constant or number of molecules, depending on the researcher’s needs. In addition, it has the capability to analyze cross correlations.

The second type of diffusion study, Raster scan Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS), provides measurement in regions, with diffusion measurement in any area of the cell. It is able to measure a wide range of intracellular structures, from molecules in solution to the proteins on a cell membrane. By limiting its area of calculation to a small region of interest, RICS can create a diffusion map from a set of 2-dimensional images, helping scientists understand different diffusion times in different locations within the cell. Results in terms of either diffusion constant or number of molecules are available, and this method too can analyze cross-correlations.

The third type of diffusion study that can be handled by the new software is Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP), a widely used fluorescence analysis technique that allows researchers to analyze the diffusion constant in a particular region as molecules diffuse back into that area after it has been photobleached. 
The new Olympus Diffusion Management software is available now. For more information, visit http://www.olympusamerica.com/FV1000accessories or contact Dennis Donley, Olympus America Inc., at dennis.donley@olympus.com; (484) 896-5611.

About Olympus Scientific Equipment Group
Olympus America Scientific Equipment Group provides innovative microscope imaging solutions for researchers, doctors, clinicians and educators. Olympus microscope systems offer unsurpassed optics, superior construction and system versatility to meet the ever-changing needs of microscopists, paving the way for future advances in life science. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com/microscopes

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products. Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its affiliates worldwide to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents;
  • Digital cameras and voice recorders.

Olympus serves healthcare and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.

Olympus and FluoView are trademarks or registered trademarks of Olympus Corporation, Olympus America Inc., and/or their affiliates.