Single Molecule Science Lab Microscopes

The infrastructure and range of techniques available at the SMS lab allow the group to gain insights into general aspects of mechanobiology, membrane biophysics and immunology. Modern molecular biology, with its emphasis on the analysis of entire genomes, has provided a “parts list” of cellular proteins as well as many of their associations, including receptor and ligand interactions.


Zeiss-Elyra 3D super resolution PALM (fluorescent proteins) STORM (organic molecules)
The most advanced super resolution platform commercially available, this microscope is the work horse of the SMS lab. It allows us to capture highly resolved, whole cell structures in 3D in just one shot.

Single molecule TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence)
The most recent addition to the UNSW lab, this microscope is able to see protein-protein interactions at a single molecule level in two colours at 250 frames per second. There are five different laser excitations available to wider range of fluorophores. This microscope is also used for FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) experiments.

Optical tweezers plus fluorescence microscope
Allows our researchers to mechanically manipulate cells and measure forces that cell exerts on receptor-ligand pairs. And test novel theories concerning force transduction and mechanobiological responses

Lattice Light Sheet Prototype instrument
We use this to take 3d images of live cells at high frame rates with low photo-toxcity (doesn’t kill the cell) and high resolution. For example, we imaging how T cells switch from a migration mode to a stationary phase when they encounter antigen presenting cells.

Single Objective SPIM (selective plain illumination microscope)
Let’s us perform super resolution far away from the cover slip; typically super resolution measurements are taken less than a micron away from the cover slip (sample holder, very thing flat piece of glass); SOSPIM is made so same measurements can be made further away from the cover slip and look at cell-cell interactions at super resolution (APC and T cell interaction, use the mirror to get the light sheet away from the cover slip)

Stabilised TIRF
Our goal for this microscope is to obtain higher res images by compensating for many mechanical and instrumental effects that deteriorate the resolution of conventional super res, such as vibrations, sample drift, inhomogeneous detector response.

High speed, 3d volumetric fluorescence imaging in all colours, across the visible spectrum. Can use this microscope on any size sample from cells up to whole mouse models, without much restriction.