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

Date:
August 19, 2011
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
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 has now been achieved for the first time.
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Live cell two-color STED time series of HEK293 cells labeled with EGF-CLIPf-ATTO647N (magenta) and EGFR-SNAPf-Chromeo494 (green). Data has been normalized to correct for bleaching. The shown images have been cropped from the original raw data. Scale bar = 1 ¼m.
Credit: Pellett et al., Biomed. Opt. Express 2, 2364-2371 (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 Biomedical Optics Express.

The key to their success was in overcoming the challenges in labeling target proteins in living cells with dyes optimal for two-color STED microscopy. By incorporating fusion proteins, 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.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patrina A. Pellett, Xiaoli Sun, Travis J. Gould, James E. Rothman, Ming-Qun Xu, Ivan R. Corrêa, Joerg Bewersdorf. Two-color STED microscopy in living cells. Biomedical Optics Express, 2011; 2 (8): 2364 DOI: 10.1364/BOE.2.002364

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Optical Society of America. "Research team achieves first two-color STED microscopy of living cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817101951.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2011, August 19). Research team achieves first two-color STED microscopy of living cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817101951.htm
Optical Society of America. "Research team achieves first two-color STED microscopy of living cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817101951.htm (accessed August 2, 2015).

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