M. Lauterbach | Molekulare Bildgebung



STED microscopy

STED microscopy is an optical so-called „superresolution“ microscopy technique that gives a higher resolution than conventional optical microscopes. This higher resolution translates into a higher useful magnification. Its invention was recognized by the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2014.


Calcium Imaging

Calcium is an important signaling molecule in neurons and glia. The activity of the cells is correlated with changes in intracellular calcium concentration. Indicator dyes allow converting these calcium-concentration changes into changes of fluorescence. The activity of the cells can thus be monitored by imaging fluorescence intensity. In this way, many cells in the network can be monitored simultaneously.



Microelectrodes allow the recording of the membrane potential of cells. Their activity and generation of action potentials can thus be monitored with high temporal resolution.



The evolutionary position of reptiles relative to mammals makes the reptile brain an interesting model system to study the structural and functional evolution of neuronal circuits of vertebrates. Turtles have an unfolded dorsal cortex that is divided into only three cell layers – in contrast to the mammalian cortex that has six layers. Thus, the turtle cortex is similar to the parts of the mammalian brain (hippocampus, olfactory bulb) that are considered to be evolutionarily old. Here, general – evolutionary old – principles of neuronal signal processing can probably be discovered and understood.


Transgenic Mice

In order to identify the morphology and the function of neurons in certain brain areas, we need to specifically visualize them. Taking advantage of various transgenic mice – generated through the Cre-recombinase system – as an animal model from our collaborative partners in the Molecular Physiology Department, we induce the expression of the gene of interest in a subset of cells in a particular brain region.

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