A polymer index-matched to water enables diverse applications in fluorescence microscopy†
We demonstrate diffraction-limited and super-resolution imaging through thick layers (tens-hundreds of microns) of BIO-133, a biocompatible, UV-curable, commercially available polymer with a refractive index (RI) matched to water. We show that cells can be directly grown on BIO-133 substrates without the need for surface passivation and use this capability to perform extended time-lapse volumetric imaging of cellular dynamics 1) at isotropic resolution using dual-view light-sheet microscopy, and 2) at super-resolution using instant structured illumination microscopy. BIO-133 also enables immobilization of 1) Drosophila tissue, allowing us to track membrane puncta in pioneer neurons, and 2) Caenorhabditis elegans, which allows us to image and inspect fine neural structure and to track pan-neuronal calcium activity over hundreds of volumes. Finally, BIO-133 is compatible with other microfluidic materials, enabling optical and chemical perturbation of immobilized samples, as we demonstrate by performing drug and optogenetic stimulation on cells and C. elegans.