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Central project Z2
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Central project Z2

Hildegard Büning, Hamid Kashkar, Eicke Latz, Astrid Schauss

Core facilty "in vivo imaging"

Clinic I for Internal Medicine, University of Cologne
Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, University of Cologne
Institute for Innate Immunity, University of Bonn
Instiute for Genetics, CECAD Imaging Facility, University of Cologne


Brief description in German:
Das Z02 Projekt ist eine Imaging-Einheit, die auf die Unterstützung der konfokalen Laser-Scanning-Mikroskopie als zentralen Service des SFBs ausgerichtet ist. In der ersten Förderperiode wurde bereits eine Imaging-Einheit im Bereich des Klinikums der Universität zu Köln etabliert, deren Funktionalität und hoher technischer Standard durch die fachkundige Betreuung und Administration einer technischen Assistentin gewährleistet ist. Dieses Projekt benötigt zusätzlich eine Erweiterung der Imaging-Einrichtung des Standortes Bonn durch ein Fluoreszenzmikroskop für spezielle Anwendungen für die Untersuchung der zellautonomen Immunität.

The Z02 project is dedicated to an Imaging facility provided as central service of the CRC. An imaging-Unit has already been established at the University Hospital Cologne that provides highest imaging performance and assistance by a skilled technician for basic and advanced imaging investigations within the CRC. Additional imaging instrumentation including a wide-field fluorescence microscope is needed to complement the Imaging-Unit at the University Campus Bonn to guarantee the highest imaging standards needed to address the dynamics of intracellular infection.

The CRC670 focuses on cell-autonomous immunity, which enables host cells to direct the efficient elimination of particularly intracellular microbial pathogens. The distinct complexity and dynamic cross-talk between the microbe and host cells poses a great challenge for the integrative understanding of the molecular interaction of host cell components on the one hand with structures of intracellular pathogens on the other hand.

Elucidation of the complex and highly dynamic pathogen-host interactions ultimately requires analysis at the level of single cells and mostly single infection events. To achieve this goal, an Imaging-Unit equipped with the InjectMan NI2 ideal for micromanipulation of cells has been established in the first funding period of CRC 670 at the University Hospital Cologne to analyse the juxtaposition of infectious particles, their products, and cellular components at high resolution.

In addition to perform the highest standards of conventional confocal microscopic analyses, several novel imaging techniques have been established and ideally adapted for studying the functional operations during the intracellular infection.

The imaging facility acts as a platform for interactions within the CRC 670 to develop and evaluate novel imaging protocols/tools aligned with the requirements of investigations concerning cell-autonomous immune response.

The goal of this project is the maintenance and further development of the imaging facility of the CRC 670 to reach the highest performance and to encounter the objective targets of the CRC 670 to study the dynamics of intracellular infection and cellular responses.

The Imaging-Unit at the University Hospital Cologne is staffed with one full-time technician for assistance and administration of the facility, is located in an adequate environment according to the German Biosafety Standards and requires furthermore intensive assistance, technical support and administration for use and the design of experimental approaches.

During the last funding period significant progress in the establishment of molecular imaging techniques, (e.g., FRET or fluorescence complementation) have been made by several investigators by the CRC 670.

FRET or fluorescence complementation imaging in living cells are powerful techniques allowing the study of molecular interactions in living cells in real-time. This enables the investigator to gain detailed insights into the interaction if host molecules with pathogens or to molecularly decipher signalling pathways at a resolution that would not be possible with standard microscopic techniques.

Additional imaging instrumentation including a wide-field fluorescence microscope, that is capable of molecular imaging, is needed to further facilitate further molecular imaging capabilities for the members of the CRC.

With this instrument, we further plan to establish an imaging platform at the University Campus Bonn to guarantee the performance and the technical standards needed to address the dynamics of intracellular infection.

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