The Gray Institute open microscopes applied to radiobiology and protein interaction studies

P. R. Barber, I. D C Tullis, M. I. Rowley, C. D. Martins, Gregory Weitsman, K. Lawler, M. Coffey, N. Woodman, C. E. Gillett, T. Ng, B. Vojnovic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

7 Citations (Scopus)


We describe an 'open' design methodology for wide-field fluorescence, confocal and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), and how the resulting microscopes are being applied to radiation biology and protein activity studies in cells and human tissue biopsies. The design approach allows easy expansion as it moves away from the use of a monolithic microscope body to small, commercial off-the-shelf and custom made modular components. Details have been made available under an open license for non-commercial use at∼atdgroup. Two radiobiology 'end-stations' have been constructed which enable fast radiation targeting and imaging of biological material opening up completely novel studies, where the consequences of ionising radiation (signaling and protein recruitment) can be studied in situ, at short times following irradiation. One is located at Surrey University, UK, where radiation is a highly focused in beam (e.g. protons, helium or higher mass ions). The second is installed at the Gray Institute linear accelerator facility, Oxford University, which uses sub-microsecond pulses of 6 MeV electrons. FLIM capabilities have enhanced the study of protein-protein interactions in cells and tissues via Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). Extracting FRET signals from breast cancer tissue is challenging because of endogenous and fixation fluorescence; we are investigating novel techniques to measure this robustly. Information on specific protein interactions from large numbers of patient tumors will reveal prognostic and diagnostic information.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThree-dimensional and multidimensional microscopy
Subtitle of host publicationImage acquisition and processing XXI: 3-6 February 2014, San Francisco, California, United States
EditorsThomas G Brown, Carol J Cogswell, Tony Wilson
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
PublisherS P I E - International Society for Optical Engineering
ISBN (Print)9780819498625
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
EventThree-Dimensional and Multidimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing XXI - San Francisco, CA, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Feb 20146 Feb 2014

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceThree-Dimensional and Multidimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing XXI
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CitySan Francisco, CA


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