Deutsch Intern
Rudolf Virchow Center for Integrative and Translational Bioimaging

Metal-enhanced super-resolution microscopy

- in collaboration with Profs Markus Sauer, Jens Pflaum, Martin Kamp and Sven Höfling

One of our approaches involves material sciences. We design and nanofabricate modified coverglasses for live cell imaging. Biocompatible metal-dielectric coatings on standard cover glasses serve as ‘boosters’ for different fluorescence approaches, and allows for faster high- and superresolution imaging of biological surfaces. Beyond imaging, for probing conformational changes of GPCRs and others in a live cell setting, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is usually the method of choice. Förster Resoance Energy FRET probes often require careful labeling procedures, elaborate characterization, and assay optimization to provide both physiologically relevant probes with unaltered pharmacology and a sufficient dynamic range of the FRET changes. We can optimize the energy transfer without changing the design of the FRET probe by metal coatings. We show that gold-coated glass coverslips reinforce the otherwise forbidden donor–acceptor energy transfer by virtual optimization of the dipole orientation. Suitable for live cell applications, this low-invasive approach offers the fascinating prospect of membrane biophysics with highest precision."

This figure illustrates the concept of mirror-enhanced dSTORM for resolution enhancement (derived from Heil et al. 2018).

Publication: Sharpening emitter localization in front of a tuned mirror. Heil HS, Schreiber B, Götz R, Emmerling M, Dabauvalle MC, Krohne G, Höfling S, Kamp M, Sauer M, Heinze KG. Light Sci Appl. 2018 Dec 5;7:99. doi: 10.1038/s41377-018-0104-z. eCollection 2018.

Figure illustrating the concept of enhanced FRET in live cells (derived from Schreiber et al. 2018).


Publication:  Enhanced Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer in G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Probes on Nanocoated Microscopy Coverslips. Schreiber B, Kauk M, Heil HS, Emmerling M, Tessmer I, Kamp M, Höfling S, Holzgrabe U, Hoffmann C*, and Heinze KG*. ACS Photonics  2018, 5, 6, 2225–2233, * corresponding author