uSEE Microscopy: the Quest for Enabling Super-Resolution Imaging as a Routine Technique
December 4th, 2018 DENITZA DENKOVA Macquarie University

Sub-diffraction imaging methods enable bio-imaging at sub-cellular level with unprecedented clarity. However, most of these super-resolution techniques require complex, costly purpose-built systems, involve image post-processing and struggle to achieve sub-diffraction imaging in 3D. Thus, their practical application is still quite limited.

In this seminar, we discuss a conceptually different super-resolution approach which circumvents these limitations and allows 3D sub-diffraction imaging on a conventional confocal microscope. The method relies on the use of luminescent markers (in our case upconversion nanoparticles) for which the emission has a super-linear dependence on the excitation power. We refer to this method as super-linear excitation-emission (SEE) microscopy, and in the specific case of upconversion nanoparticles – uSEE microscopy. We suggest a practically convenient choice of super-linear emitters and demonstrate how the developed theoretical framework can be used to bench-mark different emitters and select suitable imaging conditions. This empowers the end-user to augment any confocal microscope with super-resolution capabilities. Then, we use the technique to achieve 3D super-resolution imaging of sugar-coated upconversion nanoparticles in neuronal cells, illustrating the applicability of the technique for sub-cellular bio-imaging.

The SEE microscopy concept opens up a broad variety of research directions in which we are interested to spur collaborations: (i) development of optimized super-linear emitters; (ii) integration with other imaging modalities for improving their performance; (iii) high-photostability, high-multiplexing, low-photo-damage 3D super-resolution imaging in the biological domain.

Seminar, December 4, 2018, 15:00. ICFO’s Seminar Room

Hosted by Prof. María García-Parajo