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Calcium imaging overview

Calcium imaging refers to a scientific technique usually carried out in research which is designed to reflect the calcium status of a particular tissue or medium. Due to the chemical properties exhibited by calcium it can not be 'imaged' easily. Instead, another substance called Fura fluoresces after binding to calcium and being exposed to a fluorescent light. The Fura-Ca complex affects the wavelength typically associated with unbound Fura and the resulting fluorescence can be detected by a camera adapted (usually through a microscope) for fluorescent light imaging. A computer-generated image is thus created which can be analyzed according to intensity, ultimately reflecting the Ca status.

Technical modifications

The traditional calcium imaging technique can also be modified to indicate a 'quenching' of fluorescence via addition of manganese (Mn). The subsequent binding to Fura by Mn quenches the fluoresence since the Fura-Mn complex does not share the same wavelength properties as Fura-Ca. It is also necessary to adjust the detection wavelength since Fura is usually detected at 340 and 380 wavelengths. Mn quenching is best associated with the 360.

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