New way of visualizing fatty acids inside cells | 2/3/2017 | Staff
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International researchers, including those from Osaka University, developed a new method to image intracellular fatty acids at a single cell level. They treated cells with fatty acids containing a single bromine atom and used scanning X-ray fluorescence microscopy to observe the molecules inside the cells. The technique offers superior resolution. The new method may improve understanding of the role of fatty acids in cell function and disease.

Fatty acids are essential for cell growth and survival, providing energy and forming important components of cell membranes. Because of their importance in cells, fatty acids' functions and metabolism, or breakdown have been widely studied by biologists, but the standard techniques makes it difficult to visualize precisely where these molecules are located within the cells.

Method - FASEB - Journal - Team - Osaka

A new method, recently published in the The FASEB Journal by an international team including Osaka University researchers, can now image intracellular fatty acids at a single cell level. The technique will allow researchers to understand the dynamic changes fatty acids undergo and how the cells use them. The method does not show cytotoxicity and offers higher resolution than standard imaging techniques.

"We use a technique called scanning X-ray fluorescence microscopy," study co-author Satoshi Matsuyama says. "This allows us to...
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