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Creators/Authors contains: "Best-Popescu, Catherine"

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  1. We present high-resolution, high-speed fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of live cells based on a compressed sensing scheme. By leveraging the compressibility of biological scenes in a specific domain, we simultaneously record the time-lapse fluorescence decay upon pulsed laser excitation within a large field of view. The resultant system, referred to as compressed FLIM, can acquire a widefield fluorescence lifetime image within a single camera exposure, eliminating the motion artifact and minimizing the photobleaching and phototoxicity. The imaging speed, limited only by the readout speed of the camera, is up to 100 Hz. We demonstrated the utility of compressed FLIM in imaging various transient dynamics at the microscopic scale.

  2. Garini, Yuval (Ed.)
    Deficient myelination of the brain is associated with neurodevelopmental delays, particularly in high-risk infants, such as those born small in relation to their gestational age (SGA). New methods are needed to further study this condition. Here, we employ Color Spatial Light Interference Microscopy (cSLIM), which uses a brightfield objective and RGB camera to generate pathlength-maps with nanoscale sensitivity in conjunction with a regular brightfield image. Using tissue sections stained with Luxol Fast Blue, the myelin structures were segmented from a brightfield image. Using a binary mask, those portions were quantitatively analyzed in the corresponding phase maps. We first used the CLARITY method to remove tissue lipids and validate the sensitivity of cSLIM to lipid content. We then applied cSLIM to brain histology slices. These specimens are from a previous MRI study, which demonstrated that appropriate for gestational age (AGA) piglets have increased internal capsule myelination (ICM) compared to small for gestational age (SGA) piglets and that a hydrolyzed fat diet improved ICM in both. The identity of samples was blinded until after statistical analyses.
  3. Abstract In Fall 2020, universities saw extensive transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among their populations, threatening health of the university and surrounding communities, and viability of in-person instruction. Here we report a case study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where a multimodal “SHIELD: Target, Test, and Tell” program, with other non-pharmaceutical interventions, was employed to keep classrooms and laboratories open. The program included epidemiological modeling and surveillance, fast/frequent testing using a novel low-cost and scalable saliva-based RT-qPCR assay for SARS-CoV-2 that bypasses RNA extraction, called covidSHIELD, and digital tools for communication and compliance. In Fall 2020, we performed >1,000,000 covidSHIELD tests, positivity rates remained low, we had zero COVID-19-related hospitalizations or deaths amongst our university community, and mortality in the surrounding Champaign County was reduced more than 4-fold relative to expected. This case study shows that fast/frequent testing and other interventions mitigated transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at a large public university.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    Multiple scattering and absorption limit the depth at which biological tissues can be imaged with light. In thick unlabeled specimens, multiple scattering randomizes the phase of the field and absorption attenuates light that travels long optical paths. These obstacles limit the performance of transmission imaging. To mitigate these challenges, we developed an epi-illumination gradient light interference microscope (epi-GLIM) as a label-free phase imaging modality applicable to bulk or opaque samples. Epi-GLIM enables studying turbid structures that are hundreds of microns thick and otherwise opaque to transmitted light. We demonstrate this approach with a variety of man-made and biological samples that are incompatible with imaging in a transmission geometry: semiconductors wafers, specimens on opaque and birefringent substrates, cells in microplates, and bulk tissues. We demonstrate that the epi-GLIM data can be used to solve the inverse scattering problem and reconstruct the tomography of single cells and model organisms.