In 1994 the Department acquired a major research asset through the purchase of a Leica 4D Scanning Confocal Microscope, from the 2 large joint grants listed below.


In Max Bennett's Neurobiology Laboratory

In Dave Davey's Development & Regeneration Laboratory:

It has been used to aid the study of Schwann cells in vitro. Large numbers of isolated cells are obtained by Schwann cell culture stained with vital fluorescent dyes. A feature of these cells observed in the confocal is that they have many small projections that may be involved in cell-cell communication. A sample false-coloured confocal image is available.

In David Allen's Muscle Cell Function Laboratory:

Confocal microscopy has been employed to scan longitudinal segments of single skeletal muscle fibres, searching for regions of sarcomere disorganization following an injurious stimulation protocol. Future projects require the use of the confocal microscope to investigate the radial distribution of calcium ions in fibres during, and subsequent to, a fatiguing stimulation protocol. The distribution of external ions will also be examined.


Confocal microscopy Bennett MR 1994 $60,000
Allen DG
Cook DI
Davey DF

UEG Confocal microscopy Bennett MR 1994 $100,000
Allen DG
Cook DI
Davey DF

Total for 1994: $160,000.