Research team achieves first 2-color STED microscopy of living cells

Aug 17, 2011

Researchers are able to achieve extremely high-resolution microscopy through a process known as stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy. This cutting-edge imaging system has pushed the performance of microscopes significantly past the classical limit, enabling them to image features that are even smaller than the wavelength of light used to study them. They are able to achieve this extreme vision by using a single-color fluorescent dye that absorbs and releases energy, revealing cells and cellular components (such as proteins) in unprecedented detail.

Current applications of STED microscopy have been limited to single color imaging of living cells and multicolor imaging in "fixed" or preserved cells. However, to study active processes, such as protein interactions, a two-color STED imaging technique is needed in living cells. This was achieved for the first time by a team of researchers from Yale University, as reported in the August issue of the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal Express.

The key to their success was in overcoming the challenges in labeling in living cells with dyes optimal for two-color STED microscopy. By incorporating , the researchers were able to improve the targeting between the protein and the dye, effectively bridging the gap. This allowed the researchers to achieve resolutions of 78 nanometers and 82 nanometers for 22 sequential two-color scans of two proteins—epidermal growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor—in living cells.

The researchers expect that using this and other novel approaches will expand live cell STED microscopy to three and more colors, enabling 3-D imaging.

Explore further: Researchers build reversible tractor beam that moves objects 100 times farther than other efforts

More information: Paper: "Two-color STED microscopy in living cells," Biomedical Optics Express, Pellett et al., Volume 2, Issue 8, pp. 2364-2371. www.opticsinfobase.org/boe/abs… cfm?URI=boe-2-8-2364

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicist builds advanced microscope

Jul 21, 2011

Stephanie Meyer, a physicist specializing in optics, is bringing new capabilities to the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus by building an advanced, super resolution microscope able to see some of the innermost ...

Recommended for you

Synchrotron upgrade to make X-rays even brighter

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —The X-rays produced by the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) are bright, but they will soon be even brighter, thanks to a major upgrade that will make the quality of CHESS' X-rays ...

Cold Atom Laboratory creates atomic dance

16 hours ago

Like dancers in a chorus line, atoms' movements become synchronized when lowered to extremely cold temperatures. To study this bizarre phenomenon, called a Bose-Einstein condensate, researchers need to cool ...

Wild molecular interactions in a new hydrogen mixture

22 hours ago

Hydrogen—the most abundant element in the cosmos—responds to extremes of pressure and temperature differently. Under ambient conditions hydrogen is a gaseous two-atom molecule. As confinement pressure ...

Scientists create possible precursor to life

Oct 20, 2014

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. ...

User comments : 0