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Pioneering scientists from our Department of Chemistry have invented the world’s first advanced laser scanning confocal microscope that can track left and right-handed molecules, also known as enantiomers of chiral molecules, within live cells.

This discovery is a major breakthrough that will allow researchers to access new information on chiral molecules and analyse previously unexplored parts of biology and chemistry.

The novel laser microscope

The microscope, known as CPL Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (CPL-LSCM), is the first of its kind that can track and differentiate left-handed molecules from right-handed molecules that can emit bright light, which was not possible before.

The left and right-handed molecules encode a unique optical fingerprint when emitting light that contains information about the molecular environment, conformation, and binding state.

For the first time ever, scientists around the world will be able to study and examine this information using the novel microscope.

We thrive on research excellence

Our scientists are involved in world-leading research in chemical sciences that aligns with the status and reputation of our Chemistry Department, which is ranked 5th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2022.

The ground-breaking development of this new type of light microscope will allow researchers and academics worldwide to study the fundamental interactions between cells, organelles and drugs.

The CPL Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope also has extensive potential to be used by the imaging and biomedical research community globally.

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