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Issue 36, 2013
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Understanding super-resolution nanoscopy and its biological applications in cell imaging

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Abstract

Optical microscopy has been an ideal tool for studying phenomena in live cells because visible light at reasonable intensity does not perturb much of the normal biological functions. However, optical resolution using visible light is significantly limited by the wavelength. Overcoming this diffraction-limit barrier will reveal biological mechanisms, cellular structures, and physiological processes at a nanometer scale, orders of magnitude lower than current optical microscopy. Although this appears to be a daunting task, recently developed photoswitchable probes enable reconstruction of individual images into a super-resolution image, thus the emergence of nanoscopy. Harnessing the resolution power of nanoscopy, we report here nano-resolution fluorescence imaging of microtubules and their network structures in biological cells. The super-resolution nanoscopy successfully resolved nanostructures of a microtubule network—a daunting task that cannot be completed using conventional wide-field microscopy.

Graphical abstract: Understanding super-resolution nanoscopy and its biological applications in cell imaging

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Apr 2013, accepted on 13 May 2013 and first published on 06 Jun 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51629F
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 14856-14861

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    Understanding super-resolution nanoscopy and its biological applications in cell imaging

    D. Hu, B. Zhao, Y. Xie, G. Orr and A. D. Q. Li, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 14856
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51629F

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