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Virtual Flight Through Glial Cells
Published June 02, 1998 by ISATA - Dusseldorf Trade Fair in United Kingdom
Event: ISATA 1998
Glial cells, as an important part of the brain and nervous system, implement voltage and ligandgated membrane channels. Similar to neurons, macroglial cells comprise neurotransmitter receptors and ion-selective membrane channels. Leech giant glial cells are used to exemplify structural and physiological properties of this cell type.
In conjunction with confocal laser microscopy, three-dimensional scans can be obtained from a set of two-dimensional slices. Each virtual slice is represented by a designated focal plane. By shifting the focal plane, a 3-D stack of cross sections is conceived. The microscope enables views only from the top, or accumulated aspects through the object. A view from a side is not possible without rotating the object itself. This would require to remove the exiguous cell from the object slide, which would certainly destroy it.
Even so, arbitrary views should be enabled by the imaging system in order to reveal the entire structure of the microscopic object. In a lab environment, interactive exploration of the cell is required in order to study the nested structure and physical response while the cell is still alive (in vivo study). Therefore, we have extended our InVIS (interactive Visualization) system, which was originally designed for medical applications (CT or MRI), to confocal microscopy. We describe the structure of our system and new filtering techniques, which have been added.