20 June 2024
Lipid Microscopy Technique Unveils Cellular Secrets

All images are AI generated

Spread the love

Lipid synthesis microscopy technique reveals secrets inside cells. South Korean researchers led by Director Cho Minhaeng at the IBS Center for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics (IBS CMSD) have made a pivotal discovery in the field of cellular microscopy. The team has successfully developed two-color infrared photothermal microscopy (2C-IPM), a novel technology designed to investigate neutral lipids within lipid droplets of living cells.

Lipid Synthesis Microscopy Technique: Unraveling Cellular Processes with Two-Color Infrared Photothermal Microscopy

Related Video

Published on: March 15, 2019 Description: Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) is a technique for determining the kinetics of diffusion of molecules through ...
Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching | FRAP


In the realm of cellular biology, understanding the intricate mechanisms that govern lipid synthesis is paramount. Lipid droplets, tiny structures within cells, play a crucial role in storing energy and regulating various cellular processes. A groundbreaking discovery by South Korean researchers has unveiled a novel lipid synthesis microscopy technique that delves into the depths of lipid synthesis, offering unprecedented insights into the inner workings of cells.

Innovative Lipid Synthesis Microscopy Technique: Two-Color Infrared Photothermal Microscopy (2C-IPM)

The innovative microscopy technique, known as two-color infrared photothermal microscopy (2C-IPM), is a game-changer in the field of cellular microscopy. This technique utilizes infrared spectroscopy to directly monitor neutral lipids within lipid droplets, eliminating the need for fluorescent dyes. Unlike traditional methods that rely on fluorescent microscopy, 2C-IPM offers several advantages:

No Photobleaching: Unlike fluorescent dyes, which fade over time, 2C-IPM allows for long-term observation of lipid droplets, enabling researchers to study dynamic changes over extended periods.

Accurate Analysis: 2C-IPM directly detects neutral lipids, providing accurate information about their composition and quantity, overcoming the limitations of fluorescent dyes that rely on unspecified binding mechanisms.

Distinguishing Freshly Synthesized Lipids: By employing isotope labeling, 2C-IPM can distinguish between newly synthesized neutral lipids and pre-existing ones, allowing researchers to track the synthesis process in real-time.

Application of Lipid Synthesis Microscopy Technique in Studying Lipid Metabolism and Diseases

The 2C-IPM technique holds immense promise in advancing our understanding of lipid metabolism and its role in various diseases. By observing the synthesis of neutral lipids in living cells, researchers can gain insights into the cellular mechanisms underlying lipid toxicity and diseases associated with lipid metabolism, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Long-Term Monitoring of Lipid Droplets

The ability of 2C-IPM to monitor lipid droplets over extended periods enables researchers to investigate the dynamic changes that occur within these structures. This long-term observation capability opens up new avenues for studying the role of lipid droplets in cellular signaling, energy storage, and disease progression.


The development of two-color infrared photothermal microscopy (2C-IPM) marks a significant milestone in cellular microscopy. This innovative lipid synthesis microscopy technique provides a powerful tool for studying lipid synthesis and lipid metabolism in living cells, offering unprecedented insights into the inner workings of these tiny structures. By enabling long-term monitoring and accurate analysis of neutral lipids, 2C-IPM holds the potential to revolutionize our understanding of lipid-related diseases and pave the way for novel therapeutic interventions.


1. What is the significance of lipid synthesis in cellular processes?

Lipid synthesis is crucial for storing energy, regulating cellular processes, and maintaining cellular structure.

2. How does two-color infrared photothermal microscopy (2C-IPM) advance the study of lipid synthesis?

2C-IPM offers several advantages, including no photobleaching, accurate analysis, and the ability to distinguish freshly synthesized lipids, enabling long-term monitoring of lipid droplets.

3. What are the applications of 2C-IPM in studying lipid metabolism and diseases?

2C-IPM can be used to investigate lipid toxicity, diseases associated with lipid metabolism (e.g., non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), and the role of lipid droplets in cellular signaling and disease progression.

4. How does 2C-IPM overcome the limitations of traditional fluorescent microscopy techniques?

2C-IPM directly detects neutral lipids using infrared spectroscopy, eliminating the need for fluorescent dyes. This allows for long-term observation, accurate analysis, and the ability to distinguish between newly synthesized and pre-existing lipids.

5. What are the potential implications of 2C-IPM in advancing our understanding of lipid-related diseases?

2C-IPM has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of lipid-related diseases by providing insights into the mechanisms underlying lipid toxicity and disease progression. This knowledge could pave the way for novel therapeutic interventions.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.ibs.re.kr 2. www.nature.com 3. www.science.org

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Lipid synthesis microscopy technique, Cellular processes, Infrared photothermal microscopy

Lipid raft
The plasma membranes of cells contain combinations of glycosphingolipids, cholesterol and protein receptors organised in glycolipoprotein lipid microdomains termed lipid rafts. Their existence in cellular membranes remains controversial. Indeed, Kervin and Overduin imply that lipid rafts are misconstrued protein islands, which they propose form through a proteolipid code. Nonetheless, it...
Read more: Lipid raft

Cell (biology)
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all forms of life. Every cell consists of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane; many cells contain organelles, each with a specific function. The term comes from the Latin word cellula meaning 'small room'. Most cells are only visible under a...
Read more: Cell (biology)

Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view objects and areas of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye (objects that are not within the resolution range of the normal eye). There are three well-known branches of microscopy: optical, electron, and scanning probe microscopy, along with...
Read more: Microscopy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *