eduSPIM: Light Sheet Microscopy in the Museum

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eduSPIM: Light Sheet Microscopy in the Museum

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Title: eduSPIM: Light Sheet Microscopy in the Museum
Author: Jahr, Wiebke; Schmid, Benjamin; Weber, Michael; Huisken, Jan

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Citation: Jahr, Wiebke, Benjamin Schmid, Michael Weber, and Jan Huisken. 2016. “eduSPIM: Light Sheet Microscopy in the Museum.” PLoS ONE 11 (8): e0161402. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161402.
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Abstract: Light Sheet Microscopy in the Museum Light sheet microscopy (or selective plane illumination microscopy) is an important imaging technique in the life sciences. At the same time, this technique is also ideally suited for community outreach projects, because it produces visually appealing, highly dynamic images of living organisms and its working principle can be understood with basic optics knowledge. Still, the underlying concepts are widely unknown to the non-scientific public. On the occasion of the UNESCO International Year of Light, a technical museum in Dresden, Germany, launched a special, interactive exhibition. We built a fully functional, educational selective plane illumination microscope (eduSPIM) to demonstrate how developments in microscopy promote discoveries in biology. Design Principles of an Educational Light Sheet Microscope To maximize educational impact, we radically reduced a standard light sheet microscope to its essential components without compromising functionality and incorporated stringent safety concepts beyond those needed in the lab. Our eduSPIM system features one illumination and one detection path and a sealed sample chamber. We image fixed zebrafish embryos with fluorescent vasculature, because the structure is meaningful to laymen and visualises the optical principles of light sheet microscopy. Via a simplified interface, visitors acquire fluorescence and transmission data simultaneously. The eduSPIM Design Is Tailored Easily to Fit Numerous Applications The universal concepts presented here may also apply to other scientific approaches that are communicated to laymen in interactive settings. The specific eduSPIM design is adapted easily for various outreach and teaching activities. eduSPIM may even prove useful for labs needing a simple SPIM. A detailed parts list and schematics to rebuild eduSPIM are provided.
Published Version: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161402
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