Painting the target for fluorescent imaging

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Science  29 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6298, pp. 459-460
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6298.459-d

Superresolution fluorescence techniques have reached resolutions between 10 and 20 nm. However, imaging individual molecules in a densely packed cluster remains challenging. Dai et al. use the method DNA-PAINT, in which a fluorophore-labeled imaging strand is transiently bound to a target-bound docking strand to visualize individual targets in a grid of DNA nanostructures with a point-to-point target spacing of 5 nm. The imaging strands are continuously replenished, allowing high photon counts. Good target separation comes from regulating the binding kinetics to give a large number of blinking events, and tuning the blinking cycles produces a good signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, using DNA nanostructures as fiduciary markers allows for the correction of stage drift over long imaging times.

Nat. Nanotechnol. 10.1038/NNANO.2016.95 (2016).

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