Zipfel Lab Logo COE/BME Cornell Engineering Cornell BME Cornell Cornell



Current Research Projects

The laboratory is currently invovled in wo of our own laboratory's instrumentation developments comprise much of our core research and development (R&D) program. These are Multiphoton Microscopy (MPM, Denk et al, 1990) and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS, Magde et al, 1972). Multiphoton microscopy was first invented, developed and guided into commercial reality in this laboratory using NCRR funding, which demonstrates the implementation of one of the primary goals of a Biomedical Technology Resource Center. The explosive growth of MPM has been driven primarily by the overwhelming advantages of multiphoton excitation (MPE) in meeting demands for functional imaging deep in living tissues. Today, MPM is a successful technique with an essentail niche in which it excels: live cell and tissue imaging, and more recently in vivo or intravital imaging in live animals. Our broad goals for this research funding period range from instrument and laser development to MPM applications research and development. The following outline lists the core R&D sections.


Technology Development for Improved Intravital Multiphoton Microscopy

The goal of this project is to improve multiphoton imaging for applications requiring high resolution imaging in tissue and live animals, an area where MPMhas become the preeminent imaging tool surpassing all other available forms of microscopy.   The project has three main areas: (1) Multiphoton microscopy hardware and software development, (2) developing strategies for deeper imaging in tissue and (3) multiphoton probe developments for intravital imaging



Technology Development For Studies of Cellular Processes

In this project we develop instrumentation and methods for our collaborative experiments in the area of intracellular and extracellular cell signaling, cellular regulation and in vivo and in vitro analysis of protein aggregation. We refine our applications of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and other single molecule methods for studies of protein-protein interactions, protein-nucleic acid interactions and intracellular diffusion.   Quantitative fluorescence applications in cells has always been an active area for our Resource, and we anticipate many new projects requiring these techniques with the relocation of DRBIO to the new life sciences building (Weill Hall) at Cornell, which also houses the Weilll Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology (WICMB), directed by Scott Emr.  The WICMB will become an important new source of collaborators that drive our technology development in the areas such as FRET, FLIM, FCS and high resolution optical imaging methods for use in cells.   






- Biomedical Engineering
- Field of Biophysics
- Applied & Eng. Physics
- College of Engineering
- Cornell University