skip to primary navigationskip to content

07.07.16 Gurdon Institute scientists reveal ultra-high resolution 3D imaging of "virtually any subcellular structure"

last modified Jul 13, 2016 03:00 PM
The culmination of a decade's research on high-resolution fluorescence imaging techniques, resulting in a dramatically increased imaging depth combined with nanoscale resolution, is presented in new Cell paper

Ultra-High Resolution 3D Imaging of Whole Cells

Huang F et al. (2016) Cell Jul 6. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.06.016. [Epub ahead of print]

Imaging experts George Sirinakis and Edward Allgeyer from the Gurdon Institute, working as part of a team of cell biologists, engineers and microbiologists drawn principally from departments of Yale University School of Medicine, describe their new technique of whole-cell 4Pi single-molecule switching nanoscopy (W-4PiSMSN). The scientists present exciting evidence to support their claim that this tool "opens the door to address cell biological questions that were previously unanswerable".

Fluorescence nanoscopy, or super-resolution microscopy, is an important tool in cell biological research. However, because of its usually inferior resolution in the depth direction (50 to 80 nm) and rapidly deteriorating resolution in thick samples, its practical biological application has been effectively limited to two dimensions and thin samples.

Now, W-4PiSMSN allows imaging of three-dimensional (3D) structures at 10- to 20-nm resolution throughout entire mammalian cells. Refined hardware and new data analysis allow imaging of cells as thick as 10 μm, an improvement of up to 40-fold on previous similar imaging tools.

The ability to apply high resolution microscopy beyond small sub-volumes of cells and up to the extent of the whole cell will allow scientists to image whole organelles that span large volumes, and to probe the distribution of proteins across organelles such as endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, bacteriophages and nuclear pore complexes.

Sirinakis NuclearEnv  Sirinakis Cilium


Images reproduced from the paper's graphical abstract under Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.0).


Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

combinedLogo x3 trans2018


Share this

A Secreted RNA Binding Protein Forms RNA-Stabilizing Granules in the Honeybee Royal Jelly

The Human Lung Cell Atlas - A high-resolution reference map of the human lung in health and disease

A Compendium of Mutational Signatures of Environmental Agents

Characteristics and homogeneity of N6-methylation in human genomes

Comparative Epigenomics Reveals that RNA Polymerase II Pausing and Chromatin Domain Organization Control Nematode piRNA Biogenesis

Pluripotency and X chromosome dynamics revealed in pig pre-gastrulating embryos by single cell analysis

Dorsal-ventral differences in neural stem cell quiescence are induced by p57KIP2/Dacapo

Crypt fusion as a homeostatic mechanism in the human colon

TaDa! Analysing cell type-specific chromatin in vivo with Targeted DamID

A single-cell molecular map of mouse gastrulation and early organogenesis

Theory of mechanochemical patterning in biphasic biological tissues

Identification of functional long non-coding RNAs in C. elegans

The proneural wave in the Drosophila optic lobe is driven by an excitable reaction-diffusion mechanism

A walk through tau therapeutic strategies

Labeling strategies matter for super-resolution microscopy: a comparison between HaloTags and SNAP-tags

Stem Cell-Derived Human Gametes: The Public Engagement Imperative

Tissue- and sex-specific small RNAomes reveal sex differences in response to the environment

Comparative Epigenomics Reveals that RNA Polymerase II Pausing and Chromatin Domain Organization Control Nematode piRNA Biogenesis

Pluripotency and X chromosome dynamics revealed in pig pre-gastrulating embryos by single cell analysis

Link to full list on PubMed