We are working on further improvement of the images obtained by ultramicroscopy by different means. These include approaches which further reduce scattered light induced by the illumination of the specimen. Another approach will be the use of adaptive optics to increase visualisation depth. Apart from the optical set-up we found that the clearing procedure is of highest importance. We are therefore exploring new clearing protocols for various specimens. This is especially important for heavily myelinated structures.
We intend to increase the resolution of our technique to reliably identify and count dendritic spines. We will then investigate several experimental paradigms to induce neuronal plasticity. By comparison of control and experimental groups of mice with GFP labelled neurons, we hope to identify alterations in spine density depending on the experiment.
Systematic study of flight musculature structure in intact adult Drosophila.
We use flies with genetically knocked-down gene product that leads to flightless flies (in collaboration with Frank Schnorrer, Muscle Dynamics, MPI of Biochemistry, Munich, Germany). By applying ultramicroscopy we are able to analyse the 3D-structure of adult flight muscles in these flightless animals and compare them to wild type.
We investigate EEG data from patients undergoing anaesthesia during surgery by recurrence quantification analysis (RQA). RQA is a nonlinear mathematical data analysis method which describes the complexity (predictability) of time series data. Aim of our work is to develop a monitoring device which helps an anaesthetist to more reliably detect intra-operative awareness.