Super Resolution Microscopy

Super resolution microscopy

Researchers at Leicester are developing cutting-edge super-resolution localisation microscopy. This technology breaks the fundamental diffraction limit of biological microscopes and permits imaging of biological reactions at molecular scale (10nm), in physiological conditions.

It exploits switching of fluorescent molecules and to localize, and co-localize individual bio- molecules to within about 10nm. Switching of molecules can be either by stochastic (STORM) or deterministic (STED) blinking, with STORM and STED being the most common super- resolution modalities.

At Leicester, stochastic switching is achieved by binding of single molecules (protein or DNA) to their interacting partners immobilized on glass, in DNA nanoreactors, or inside living cells.

The microscope in development in the Henry Wellcome Building has the ability to collect four colours simultaneously (most single-molecule microscopes have two colours) for extended periods of time (hours as opposed to seconds and minutes) in the absence of artefacts due to drift (Lestascope drifts at 2 nm per hour, whereas commercial microscopes drift 2 μm per hour). This exciting technological development combined with the know-how of chemical labelling and surface chemistry from our researchers provides for the analysis of complex enzymatic mixtures.

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