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Cryogenic correlative light and immunoelectron microscopy using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) – a new way to look at cancer and its microenvironment.

Project Member(s): Valenzuela, S.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Cancer Institute NSW (Cancer Institute NSW - Research Equipment Grant)

Start year: 2015

Summary: Cancer diagnosis of resected and biopsy tissue, together with research employing in vitro cell assays and in vivo disease models, is heavily reliant on microscopy for the identification of key structural changes and biomarkers in cancer. This application seeks funding to establish a novel cryogenic correlative microscopy facility, using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research in Liverpool. Using cutting-edge FESEM technology combined with cryogenic ‘cold temperature’ tissue preservation techniques, light microscopy, electron microscopy and analysis images can be correlated now in a novel way. Such correlative microscopy reveals high resolution insights into the structural architecture and biological activity of cancer cells and their surrounding tissue environment at the nanometer scale. Correlative cellular images will elucidate what is different in cancer tissue versus normal tissue and can lead to more refined cancer diagnosis and better/new cancer treatment regimes. The proposed FESEM facility will build on other previously established cancer research facilities at the Ingham Institute, e.g. Circulating Tumour Cell hub and MRI-Linac. This increased research capacity will benefit one of the largest NSW cancer patient demographics, the South Western Sydney region that includes potentially more vulnerable populations of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

FOR Codes: Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Clinical Sciences