Under the microscope

biofuel substrateA picture paints a thousand words, as the saying goes, and no more so than images captured by Dr Lloyd Donaldson through Scion’s confocal microscope. The confocal microscope is widely used to characterise the structure of biomaterials, like wood and woodderived products. It generates high resolution colour images in three dimensions using either the natural fluorescence of a subject or light emitted as a result of staining, making it possible to study minute objects within a sample.

These images help our scientists understand the structure of wood, fibres, plant tissues, fungi, plastics, adhesives and coatings. They also provide valuable insights into product characteristics and performance, such as the cell wall components in a range of different plant species and wood formation at the molecular level.

The microscope can also perform complicated experiments such as the measurement of molecular interactions at nanoscale. Such techniques are used by our scientists to help develop plant-based biomaterials.

The expertise Scion offers in microscopy and image analysis of wood and plant fibres is internationally recognised. Lloyd’s images have recently been selected for the covers of three major international science journals, Plant Molecular Biology, The Plant Journal, and Biotechnology & Bioengineering.

For further information: Contact Dr Lloyd Donaldson at Show email