Picture of the Month

These images were acquired using MIC instruments. For suggestions, comments and to submit your picture to be featured here, please contact Avery McIntosh (, tel. 845-3639) or Stan Vitha (, tel. 845-1607)

February 2019

Extruded protein, SEM


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of extruded pea protein. Sample courtesy of Dr. Taehoon Kim (PI: Dr. Mian Riaz, Process Engineering R& D Center  https://perdc.tamu.edu/extrusion/).  The freeze – dried sample was sputter-coated with gold and imaged in Tescan Vega SEM at 10 kV accelerating voltage  by Dr. Stanislav Vitha. Magnification 26x, 720x, and 4100x was used (left, middle and right panels, respectively).  The rectangle in the left panel indicates the area captured at higher magnification in the middle panel.  

January 2019Confocal z-stack and comparison of confocal vs STED images of Drosophila gut stem cells expressing chimeric (human extracellular, drosophila intracellular) epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) labeled with fluorescently conjugated (Alexa 594) anti-human EGFR antibody (Cetuximab).  The STED technique is compatible with drosophila gut tissue and provides a significant resolution improvement over confocal, allowing the nanoscale determination of protein clustering in vivo.  Image acquired on Leica SP8 Confocal, STED, FLIM system microscope, by Dr. Robert Fuentes (Dr. Chapkin's group, Nutrition and Food Science) and sample prepared by Dr. Mohamed Mlih (Dr. Karpac's group, Molecular and Cellular Medicine).

Confocal z-stack and comparison of confocal vs STED images of Drosophila gut stem cells expressing chimeric (human extracellular, drosophila intracellular) epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) labeled with fluorescently conjugated (Alexa 594) anti-human EGFR antibody (Cetuximab).  The STED technique is compatible with drosophila gut tissue and provides a significant resolution improvement over confocal, allowing the nanoscale determination of protein clustering in vivo

Images were acquired on the new Leica SP8 Confocal, STED, and Falcon (FLIM) system microscope by Dr. Robert Fuentes (Dr. Chapkin's group, Nutrition and Food Science).  The sample was prepared by Dr. Mohamed Mlih (Dr. Karpac's group, Molecular and Cellular Medicine).


June 2018

immunostained for dystrophin

Cross section of healthy canine muscle tissue stained for dystrophin (red), nuclei located in the periphery can be seen stained with DAPI (blue). Dystrophin is a protein present in the sarcolemmal membrane that is required for healthy muscle growth and development. The lack of dystrophin can cause severe diseases such as Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy. The sample was processed by Sara Mata, a PhD Candidate from the Kornegay lab. 


June 2017

Chiral nematic liquid crystals (CLCs) are known to exhibit self-organized helical superstructures. The image shows the polarized optical microscope texture of CLCs dispersed in an isotropic medium, where finger print textures are interestingly observed inside the microspheres. Image acquired on Zeiss Axiophot microscope, by  Ling Wang (Dr. Zhengdong Cheng's lab, Chemical engineering)

December 2015


Section of mouse lungs immunofluorescently labeled for Collagen IV (Green) and CD45 (Red). Image courtesy Dr. Darrell Pilling,  Department of Biology.

Olympus FV1000 confocalmicroscope, 20x/0.85 oil immersion objective.


September 2014

Circular polariscopy micrograph of urea crystals on glass. Image acquired on a Zesiss Axiophot  microscope with a 2.5x objective.

The basic advantage of a circular polariscope over a plane polariscope is that in a circular polariscope setup we only get the isochromatics and not the isoclinics. This eliminates the problem of differentiating between the isoclinics and the isochromatics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoelasticity

Note: Isoclinics are the loci of the points in the specimen along which the principal stresses are in the same direction. Isochromatics are the the lines which join the points with equal maximum shear stress magnitude.



June 2014

Confocal image of cultured neurons. Indirect immunofluorescence staining (Green) and DNA (Red). Imaged witlh a long-working 20x/0.8 objective.  Image by Dr. Stanislav Vitha. Sample courtesy of Dr. Deeann Wallis (Dr. Sacchettini’s group, Biochemistry and Biophysics).


November 2013

Laser scanning confocal image of human ovarian cancer cell line NCI/ADR-RES stained with DAPI (green) and with anti-ABCB1 (red) antibody recognizing a drug efflux pump known to play a major role in resistance to chemotherapy treatments.  Sample courtesy of Dr. Deeann Wallis (Dr. Sacchettini’s group, Biochemistry and Biophysics) from a project on novel drugs that resensitize drug resistant cancers to chemotherapy.

Imaging preformed on the Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope by Dr. Stanislav Vitha.



September 2013

Broom corn stem cross section. Cell walls were fluorescently stained with Pontamine Fast Scarlet 4B and imaged on Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope using a 10x objective.  Image by Robert Anderson (Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, laboratory of Dr. John Mullet  



March 2013

Photoswitching of mOrange2 fluorescent protein. The chloroplast division protein FtsZ2 tagged with mOrange2 was expressed in yeast and imaged using Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope.  Repeated excitation with 543 nm laser drives the fluorescent protein to dark state and the fluorescence signal declines. The sample was then illuminated with 405 nm laser which converts mOrange2 from the dark state to the fluorescence-capable state, leading to elevated fluorescence signal at the beginning of the next excitation sequence. Image by Stanislav Vitha, MIC.



July 2012

ER-targeted Green Fluorescent Protein expressed in tobacco, imaged using Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope and a silicon immersion 60x/1.3 objective . The XZ and YZ panels show very good depth of imaging achieved in this highly scattering tissue. Sample courtesy Dr. Lawrence Griffing, Department of Biology.  Imaging performed by Dr. Stanislav Vitha, MIC.  For a through-focus movie, click here:  GFP-ER-tobacco.avi 


 February 2012

Picture_Feb 2012.jpg

Imaging core/shell structures in PbSeTe nanocubes. (a) XRD patterns of PbSeTe core/shell nanocubes (red) and Pb3Se2.8Te0.2 single ternary alloy nanocubes (black). (b,d) TEM images [inset of (b): SAED pattern] and (c) HAADF-STEM EDS line scan profile of PbSeTe core/shell nanocubes. (e) WBDF image. (f) HRTEM image of a single PbSeTe core/shell nanocube. (g–j) Elemental maps of Pb (red), Se (purple), Te (green), and their Se+Te overlap, respectively; scale bar, 20 nm. The TEM work was done by Dr. Zhiping Luo, and published on J. Am. Chem. Soc.  133 (44), 17590–17593 (2011).  [Abstract]  [HTML]  [PDF]


December 2011

December 2011

Quantitative analysis of electron diffraction pattern (EDP). (a) EDP taken from Au-Fe nanoparticles; (b) intensity profile, as well as the difference after subtracting the simulated background using the power law; (c) the Pawley refinement (refined background is shown); (d) reflection intensities after subtracting the refined background in (c). This work was published by Zhiping Luo, Yolanda Vasquez, James F. Bondi, and Raymond E. Schaak. Pawley and Rietveld refinements using electron diffraction from L12-type intermetallic Au3Fe1-x nanocrystals during their in-situ order-disorder transition. Ultramicroscopy 111 (8), 1295-1304 (2011).  [HTML]  [PDF]


 September 2011

September 2011

Self-assembled superlattice structure of octahedral Pt3Ni nanocrystals revealed by electron tomography. (a) TEM image and SAED; (b) magnified image of (a); (c) structure models of the bcc packing unit cell; (d) reconstructed volume; (e-g) slice view of bottom, middle, and top layers, respectively; (h) superimposition of (e-g). This work was performed by Dr. Zhiping Luo, and published by Jun Zhang*, Zhiping Luo*, Zewei Quan, Yuxuan Wang, Amar Kumbhar, Detlef-M. Smilgies, and Jiye Fang. Low Packing Density Self-Assembled Superstructure of Octahedral Pt3Ni Nanocrystals. Nano Lett. 11 (7), 2912–2918 (2011).  * Co-first authors.  [Abstract]  [HTML]  [PDF]


June 2011

June 2011

Nanoboxes and nanoframes studied by transmission electron microscopy. (a) Synthesis route; (b-d) TEM image, cross-sectional view of 3D reconstruction, and iso-surface of the nanobox with a lid on the top; (e) electron diffraction pattern showing single crystallinity; (f-h) TEM image, cross-sectional view of 3D reconstruction, and iso-surface of the nanoframe showing the open top. The TEM work was performed by Dr. Zhiping Luo, and published by Anna Chen, Zhiping Luo and Mustafa Akbulut, Chem. Commun. 47 (8), 2312-2314 (2011).  [Abstract]  [Rich HTML]  [PDF]


 April 2011

April 2011

CuInSe2 nanowire revealed by electron tomography. (a) STEM image of a nanowire; (b) 3-D reconstructed volume, with two locations of the nanowire where cross-sectional views are obtained, as shown in (c) and (d) respectively. Images were taken by Dr. Zhiping Luo, and published on J. Mater. Chem. [Abstract]  [Rich HTML]  [PDF]


March 2011: 

March 2011

A superlattice pattern composed of In2O3 nanoctahedra and Pd spherical nanoparticles, assembled by opposite electrical charges. (a) TEM image; (b) reconstructed volume rendering; (c) close to edge-on side view of the volume; (d) edge-on side view of the volume. It is revealed that most of the Pd NPs locate on the middle plane of the In2O3 nanoctahedra well above the substrate surface (support film), rather than sitting on it. Images were taken by Dr. Zhiping Luo, and published on ACS Nano 4 (4), 1821-1828 (2010).  [Abstract]  [Full text HTML]  [PDF]


December 2010:


FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching) analysis of a GFP-tagged transcription factor-like protein in Arabidopsis nucleus. TAIR Stock # CS84731 = line N7, which expresses a GFP fusion to a transcription factor-like protein (Cutler et al.,2000.  PNAS 97(7),3718). Photobleaching using the SIM scanner on the Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope and bi-directional scanning permitted image acquisition at high frame rate, with the first post-bleach image (T=260ms) acquired less than 25 ms after bleaching (Bleach T= 227-238 ms). The region of interest (ROI) for bleaching and intensity measurement is indicated by the circle. Image acquired by Stanislav Vitha during the FRAP/RICS imaging tutorial in the MIC, December 1st, 2010.


July/August 2010:


Surface topology of grapefruit peel.  Topographical projection from a confocal z-stack  was visualized with Surface3D plugin in ImageJ software. The scale is given in micrometers. Image by Stanislav Vitha.


May 2010:

Arabidopsis leaf

Leaf of  a transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plant expressing the tubulin-like chloroplast division protein FtsZ2 fused with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP).  The three-channel confocal image shows GFP fluorescence (green), chlorophyll fluorescence (red) and a transmitted bright-field image (gray). Image acquired by Stanislav Vitha on the Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope, using a 60x/1.2 water immersion objective.


February 2010:

Picture of the Month, February 2010

Caulobacter crescentus stalked cell prepared by plunge-freezing in liquid ethane and imaged by cryo-TEM on FEI Tecnai F20. This bacterium is a powerful model for the study of cell-cycle regulation and differentiation as it exists both as an immobilized stalked cell and a motile swarmer cell. It is also particularly useful for prokaryotic structural studies using cryo-electron tomography due to its relatively small size. Image by Dr. Christos Savva, MIC .

January 2010:


Histone-GFP fusion protein in Neurospora crassa hyphae. Specimen courtesy of Dr. Bell-Pedersen (Department of Biology, http://www.bio.tamu.edu/FACMENU/FACULTY/Bell-PedersenD.htm). A z-stack of GFP fluorescence images was acquired with z-step of 0.2 um, using Zeiss Axiophot microscope equipped with Plan Neofluoar 100x/1.3 oil immersion objective and a Coolsnap cf camera. The raw image stack was processed with AutoDeblur X software (Media Cybernetics) using 100 iterations of blind deconvolution algorithm.  Maximum intensity projection of the raw and deconvolved stacks is shown. Image data was acquired by Laura Short (Department of Anthropology)  during the Spring 2009 Light Microscopy course offered by MIC (BIOL-608, Theory and Applications of Light Microscopy).  For additional views of the deconvolved dataset, go to Deconvolution page in MIC Instrumens section.    

June 2009:


Pollen of Artemisia (Asteraceae). Pollen grains were extracted and embedded in 2,2-thiodiethanol medium and imaged in a photon-counting mode on an Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope equipped with a 100x/1.4 oil immersion objective. The 3D image stack was surface-rendered using Osirix software. Sample preparation and imaging By Stanislav Vitha (MIC), rendering by Amen Zwa (Gannontech Inc.). Scale bar = 10 micrometers.

April 2009:


Drosophila brain immunofluorescently labeled to show localization of circadian-clock proteins. Projections of 3D confocal image stacks. Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope, 20x/0.85 oil immersion objective. Images courtesy Jerry Houl (jhoul@mail.bio.tamu.edu), the Hardin lab, Department of Biology.  

February 2009:


Confocal image of Drosophila melanogaster polytene chromosomes from whole mount salivary glands. Anti-fibrillarin antibody was used to detect the nucleolus (red) and DAPI to stain the DNA.  Image by Silvana Paredes (Department of Biology, PI: Keith Maggert http://www.bio.tamu.edu/FACMENU/FACULTY/MaggertK.htm)


October/November 2008:


Interferometric micrograph of oil aerosol droplets on a glass slide. The micrograph allows to measure the droplet height by counting the number of interference fringes. Each black fringe corressponds to height step of 1/2 wavelength, in this case ~350 nm. The image was acquired using a Nikon 50x DI Mirau-type interferometric objective mounted on Zeiss Axiophot microscope. Incident light used for illumination was filtered using a 650 nm long-pass filter.  Scale bar = 10 micrometers. Image by Stanislav Vitha, MIC.    


September 2008:

Picture of the Month 9-2008

A hand cross-section of transgenic rice stem histochemically stained for beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter activity (blue dye indicates sites with GUS activity). Zeiss Axiophot microscope, 10x/0.3 objective, DXM1200 color CCD camera. Scale bar = 100 micrometers. Sample courtesy Dr. Chandra Emani, IDMB, rice biotechnology group (http://www.idmb.tamu.edu/hallslab/monocot.shtm). Sectioning and imaging by Stan Vitha, MIC.

August 2008:


Confocal 3D imaging of beta-glucuronidase (GUS) histochemical staining in Arabidopsis thaliana root tips. The blue reaction product resulting form the indigogenic histochemical reaction exhibits fluorescence near 700 nm and is thus amendable to 3D confocal imaging. The GUS staining is predominantly present in the root cap and rhizodermis. Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope,  60x/1.2 water imemrsion objective, excitation by 633 nm laser. Sample courtesy Sonia Iriyogen, W. Versaw lab (Biology, http://www.bio.tamu.edu/FACMENU/FACULTY/VersawW.htm). Image acquired by Stan Vitha.

Click on the image to view the 3D animation (Quicktime movie file).

July 2008:


A crystal of zeolite imaged on the JEOL 6400 scanning electron microscope at 5,000x magnification, 15,000 volt accelerating voltage, and 16mm working distance. Image by Dr. Michael Pendelton, MIC.

June 2008:

Transient expression of GFP-tagged proteins in tomato protoplasts. The 3D image was acquired using  Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope, 60x/1.2 water immersion objective.  Green = GFP, red = chloroplasts. Image width is 370 um. Original image data courtesy Maria Julissa Ek-Ramos,  PhD.,
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics; http://devarennelab.tamu.edu/

May 2008:


Confocal autofluorescence image of a new genus/species of dinoflagellate cyst discovered from the Eocene (37.6 million years ago) of the Greenland Sea, Ocean Drilling Program Hole 913A (Firth, J.V., 1996:  doi:10.2973/odp.proc.sr.151.105.1996). Dinoflagellate cysts are made of dinosporin, a resistant, complex organic compound  similar to sporopollenin (which comprises the walls of pollen and spores), that enables cysts to be preserved as microscopic fossils in sediments hundreds of millions of years old. Sample courtesy of John Firth, IODP (http://iodp.tamu.edu/staffdir/indiv/firth/). Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope, 60x/1.2 water immersion objective.


April 2008:

Surface topology of a 3D resolution test specimen. Reflected light confocal data. Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope, 40x/0.6 dry objective. Topological projection of the confocal dataset was visualized with Surface3D plugin in ImageJ software.  The square wells in the specimen are 200 nm deep. Image by Stan Vitha.


March 2008:


Botryococcus braunii colonial microalgae were crushed, releasing accumulated hydrocarbons stored in the extracellular matrix. Sample courtesy of Taylor Weiss (T. Devarenne Lab, Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics). Differential Interference contrast image was acquired on Zeiss Axiophot microscope, using PlanApo 100x/1.3 oil imm. objective, by Stan Vitha.