Indexed on: 30 Jun '14Published on: 30 Jun '14Published in: Methods in cell biology
Many biomolecules in cells can be visualized with high sensitivity and specificity by fluorescence microscopy. However, the resolution of conventional light microscopy is limited by diffraction to ~200-250 nm laterally and >500 nm axially. Here, we describe superresolution methods based on single-molecule localization analysis of photoswitchable fluorophores (PALM: photoactivated localization microscopy) as well as our recent three-dimensional (3D) method (iPALM: interferometric PALM) that allows imaging with a resolution better than 20 nm in all three dimensions. Considerations for their implementations, applications to multicolor imaging, and a recent development that extend the imaging depth of iPALM to ~750 nm are discussed. As the spatial resolution of superresolution fluorescence microscopy converges with that of electron microscopy (EM), direct imaging of the same specimen using both approaches becomes feasible. This could be particularly useful for cross validation of experiments, and thus, we also describe recent methods that were developed for correlative superresolution fluorescence and EM.