New technique visualizes cells less than 10 nm

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

August 3, 2022 -- A new photoswitching fingerprint analysis enables the optical imaging of dynamic interactions with other molecules in the cell. The analysis reliably allows for structural optical resolution in cells in the sub-10 nm range.

Using direct labeling methods, researchers at the Rudolf Virchow Center and the University of Würzburg in Germany have visualized a cell within a few nanometers, which allows for the revelation of molecular functions and the architecture of important components of cells (Nature Methods, August 1, 2022).

The photoswitching rates of dyes between an on and off state are strongly affected at distances below 10 nm due to various energy transfer processes between dyes, the researchers said. The resulting cluster of on-states during the first seconds of an experiment makes their individual localization more difficult. However, with photoswitching fingerprint and fluorescence decay time, the number of dyes present can be revealed along with information about their distances.

By incorporating unnatural amino acids into multimeric membrane receptors through genetic code expansion followed by bioorthogonal click labeling with small fluorescent dyes, the research team was able to show how site-specific labeling of proteins in cells can be achieved without spacing errors with sub-10 nm distances.

Next, the researchers plan to use photoswitching fingerprint analysis with single-molecule localization microscopy and patterned excitation schemes and DNA-based point accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (DNA-PAINT) for reliable super-resolution imaging in cells with sub-10 nm resolution. Doing so could provide new insights into the molecular organization of cellular structures, organelles, and multiprotein complexes, as well as the structural articulation of protein structures using optical methods.

The researchers will present the new technology at the Translational Bioimaging Symposium from September 18-20 in Würzburg, Germany.

Researchers image mouse brain in entirety with multimodal pipeline
Researchers have successfully combined multiple imaging modalities on the same brain tissue to capture the anatomic features of neurons across the entire...
Ghost imaging speeds up nanoscopy techniques
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences describe a new unconventional super-resolution imaging, or nanoscopy, technique that processes nanometer...
Super-resolution imaging characterizes individual synaptic proteins
It is now possible to rapidly image synaptic proteins at high-resolution thanks to a new technique developed by researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute...

Copyright © 2022 scienceboard.net


Conferences
Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa
October 11-13
Carlsbad, California United States
IDWeek 2022
October 19-23
District of Columbia United States
American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting
October 25-29
Los Angeles, California United States
International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering Annual Meeting
October 30 - November 2
Orlando, Florida United States
Connect
Science Advisory Board on LinkedIn
Science Advisory Board on Facebook
Science Advisory Board on Twitter