Time Resolved Light Sheet Microscopy

  • Daniel J. O'Brien

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Understanding and identifying critical protein-protein interactions is just one of the key outcomes in biological research. It can help to confirm key cellular interactions, which in some fields, such as cancer research, can result in a greater understanding of disease pathogenesis, elucidate mechanisms of therapeutic resistance and aid in the development of new specific targets, leading to new methods of prevention and treatment. Time-correlated single photon counting fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy is just one of the tools used to carry out this line of research. Here we demonstrate a direct interaction between two proteins involved in gene regulation and expression; p21 and FMN2. Furthermore, we also show the capability of this system to measure chromatin compaction in three dimensions.

    However, fluorescence lifetime imaging has some drawbacks, acquisition times on such a system can range from the tens of seconds to minutes, which is often too long to comprehensively measure many biological events. But microscopy is always developing, aided by new techniques and, perhaps even more so, new technological developments. This thesis also demonstrates two new methods of light sheet microscopy, that use both new equipment made available because of technological developments to allow time resolved imaging and traditional microscopic aspects to form a light sheet system based on polarisation. It outlines the design and how to build these systems and presents their function to show their great promise.

    Both techniques presented in this thesis utilise aspects of light not conventionally used in light sheet microscopy. Further development of these systems and application of emerging technologies will yield a system capable of outperforming current light sheet fluorescence microscopy-based fluorescence lifetime imaging techniques. The implementation of polarisation control into such a system would enable three-dimensional anisotropy based SPIM-FLIM measurements, an indispensable tool in researching molecular orientation and mobility at a macroscopic level in developing organisms.
    Date of Award2019
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMichael MacDonald (Supervisor) & Angus Lamond (Supervisor)


    • Time-resolved microscopy
    • Light sheet microscopy
    • SPIM
    • FLIM
    • TCSPC

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