Superfund Research Program

February 2024

Paper of the Month

Researchers at the North Carolina State University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center and small business collaborators developed a new approach that combines advanced imaging methods with machine learning to rapidly image and count neutrophils, a type of immune cell, in zebrafish embryos. Research suggests that exposure to environmental pollutants can decrease neutrophil levels, emphasizing the need for strategies to screen chemicals affecting neutrophil counts.

Zebrafish are commonly used to study immunity because their embryos are transparent, allowing researchers to label neutrophils with fluorescent tags and count them. However, current methods to image and quantify neutrophils are time-consuming. To address this challenge, the team developed a device called a Multi-Camera Array Microscope. The tool combines numerous mini-microscopes, which provide a flexible viewing area, with data processing software used in immune cell studies.

To learn more, see the NIEHS Environmental Factor newsletter.