Trio of Andor EMCCD Cameras Chosen to Unravel the Inner Structure of Herpes Simplex Virus

Andor iXon3 897 camera selected for dSTORM super-resolution imaging specifically for speed and sensitivity

Belfast, UK – Although super-resolution light microscopy has broken new ground in our understanding of subcellular structures and the movement of individual molecules within cells, its use to investigate virus particles is in its infancy. However, the field could be about to explode following the publication of work by a Cambridge University team using a trio of fast and ultra-sensitive Andor iXon EMCCD cameras.

Led by Professor Clemens Kaminski and Dr Colin Crump, the team has successfully developed a methodology that allows dSTORM super-resolution microscopy to be used as a structural tool for the study of viruses. This has enabled the team to construct an ultra-high-resolution image of the Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) and determine the position of individual protein layers within the virion with nanometre precision. They also determined the distance between the capsid protein shell and the centre of the HSV-1 virion. Additionally, multi-colour dSTORM allowed the team to observe multiple layers simultaneously in individual virus particles.

"Pinpointing with nanometric precision the position of individual proteins within the HSV-1 structure is crucial in providing the research community with potential therapeutic targets," says Dr Romain Laine of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology's Laser Analytics Group. "Understanding the structure gives us a chance to better understand the functions of the different proteins present in the virus, even to suggest new functionality, and to consider previously unforeseeable protein-protein interactions."

"When we looked for detectors capable of providing the speed required for dSTORM imaging while retaining excellent levels of sensitivity, we selected the Andor iXon3 897 electron multiplying CCD camera. The quality and sensitivity of these cameras is ideal for single-molecule fluorescence applications. Also, the bond of trust we have established with Andor is vital, having worked with the company's products and specialists over many years."

According to Orla Hanrahan, product specialist at Andor, the new methodology developed around dSTORM to elucidate the virus structure outflanks traditional EM and ET techniques in deciphering virus structure. "After using multi-colour fluorescence super-resolution localization microscopy to visually distinguish virus proteins in individual virus particles, the Cambridge team designed a model-based analysis of the data, using particle averaging to reconstruct a high-resolution image and determine the position of individual protein layers within the virus particle. What's more, they investigated the effect of the fluorophore linker size and compared immuno-labelling strategies in the context of model-based analysis. The key to the positional accuracy attained by this powerful technique is the combination of speed and sensitivity delivered by the Andor iXon 897 EMCCD camera."

To learn more about the iXon camera series, please visit the Andor website iXon pages at


Romain F. Laine, Anna Albecka, Sebastian van de Linde, Eric J. Rees, Colin M. Crump Clemens F. Kaminski. "Structural analysis of herpes simplex virus by optical super-resolution imaging" Nature Communications, 6:5980 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6980 (2015)

About Andor

Andor is a global leader in the pioneering and manufacturing of high performance scientific imaging cameras, spectroscopy solutions and microscopy systems for research and OEM markets. Andor has been innovating the photonics industry for over 20 years and continues to set the standard for high performance light measuring solutions, enabling its customers to break new ground by performing light measurements previously considered impossible. Andor's digital cameras, are allowing scientists around the world to measure light down to a single photon and capture events occurring within 1 billionth of a second.

Andor now has over 400 staff across 16 offices worldwide, distributing products to over 10,000 customers in 55 countries. Andor's products are used in a wide range of applications including medical research to further the understanding of heart disease, cancer and neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Andor also has applications for forensic science and astronomy. Through continuous dialogue with customers and strong teamwork, Andor continues to innovate ground-breaking products that improve the world in which we live.

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About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for over 50 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialisation of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments is now a global company with over 2300 staff worldwide and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the research and industrial sectors with a focus on nanotechnology. Its key market sectors include nano-fabrication and nano-materials. The company's strategy is to expand the business into the life sciences arena, where nanotechnology and biotechnology intersect.

This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature, high magnetic field and ultra high vacuum environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; x-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; advanced growth, deposition and etching.

Oxford Instruments aims to pursue responsible development and deeper understanding of our world through science and technology. Its products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, security and health.

For further information, please contact Andor Technology direct or their marketing agency, Catalyst Communications.

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