ResearchBBSRC 20Alert SPRINT

SPRINT: a SuPer-Resolution time-resolved ImagiNg and specTroscopy facility for rapid biomolecular analysis

The ability to localise molecules in three dimensions and understand how they interact within their native cellular environment is a crucial tool for experimental biologists.

Molecular interactions occur within a diffraction-limited region (≪ 250nm), emphasising the need to study biological processes in living cells at high resolution, and in real-time. Advances in super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) allow direct observation of nanoscale spatiotemporal dynamics of molecular interactions in living cells in real-time, offering the potential to deliver a step-change in our understanding of complex biological systems.

Strathclyde hosts an integrated super-resolution time-resolved imaging and spectroscopy (SPRINT) facility offering STED-FLIM & STED-FCS for a wide array of users in academia and industries, underpinned by academic expertise in imaging physics, instrumentation and analysis.

The consortium & supporting environment

SPRINT is integrated with the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) imaging facility, which is located adjacent to wet laboratories for biological end-users providing close physical proximity to labs, cell culture rooms and animal facilities for primary cell work.

SPRINT imagine facility

SPRINT is managed by the following academics:

  • Dr David Li (Biomedical Engineering)
  • Professor Gail McConnell (Physics)
  • Professor Gwyn Gould (SIPBS)

They are supported by:

  • Dr Yu Chen (Physics)
  • Dr Sebastian van de Linde (Physics)
  • Professor Luke Chamberlain (SIPBS) 
  • Professor Paul Hoskisson (SIPBS) 
  • Dr Margaret Cunningham (SIPBS) 
  • Dr Zahra Rattray (SIPBS)

The team also collaborates with Professor Helen Walden and Dr Steven Magennis (University of Glasgow), Professor Neil Hunt (University of York), and Dr David Henderson (Mironid, Ltd.).

SPRINT represents a step-change in capacity to underpin BBSRC-relevant research. The consortium members have expertise in time-resolved instrumentation, optical physics and data analysis which will facilitate optimal data acquisition strategies for users. Hence, SPRINT will transform the way molecular interactions are quantified and explored for a wide range of biologists.