The O'Brien Center for Advanced Renal Microscopic Analysis will provide the resources and expertise necessary to apply structural and functional imaging technologies to further the understanding of renal physiology, disease processes and their therapy as a Regional, National and International Core facility. This will be accomplished by providing state of the art intravital imaging systems for use in small animals (mice and rats) and fixed tissues. These imaging approaches will include a combination of novel strategies and techniques developed at Indiana University, fluorescent 2-photon optimized probes developed at Indiana University and unique kidney cell specific molecular delivery systems designed and validated at the University of North Carolina. Facilities that will be available to the life scientists on our campus, and to NIDDK or other funded investigators studying kidney or urologic processes include: six laser-scanning confocal and four two-photon microscopes, a low light level epifluorescence system and extensive facilities for live animal surgery and imaging. To support utilization of these resources a cadre of basic scientists including microscopists, computer engineers, physiologists, physicians, and cell and molecular biologists have been assembled into a synergistic team. They will continue to function as an integrated team to assist and train investigators in the development of new approaches and software for application to imaging techniques. Additional research activities will include the development of signal processing algorithms to maximize image quality and information content, and the development of quantitative 3-dimensional volumeanalysis algorithms. Finally, an educational service including imaging workshops, a highly successful O'Brien Fellows pilot and feasibility program will be continued and dissemination excursions will be maximized. These research development and support activities are expected to provide numerous opportunities to impact the understanding of renal physiology, disease processes and therapeutic interventions.
Intravital multiphoton imaging of the kidney allows for unique insights at the cellular and subcellular level not available by other techniques. We will advance the science and technology of multiphoton imaging and apply it to the kidney to enhance understanding of kidney diseases and their therapy.
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