The hottest science low-cost ultra-high resolution

2022-08-21
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Science: low cost ultra-high resolution imaging

microscope has always been an important tool in biological research. With the development of technology, the resolution of microscope is constantly improving. The latest ultra-high resolution microscope has reached the resolution beyond the diffraction limit. Now MIT's research team has achieved the same goal in another ingenious way

the researchers did not work on the microscope, but started from the tissue sample, using a water swelling polymer to enlarge the whole tissue sample. This method is very simple and low cost. It can achieve a resolution of more than 200nm with an ordinary confocal microscope. This achievement published on science can expose more scientists to ultra-high resolution imaging

"you can achieve ultra-high resolution imaging under a conventional microscope without buying new equipment," said Ed Boyden, senior author of the article and associate professor of MIT. Fei Chen and Paul tillberg are the first authors of this article

physical amplification

diffraction limit was once one of the biggest obstacles of optical microscope, making its resolution unable to exceed 200nm. However, this scale is precisely what biologists are most interested in. In order to overcome this problem, some scientists in the market have developed ultra-high resolution microscopy, which won the Nobel Prize in chemistry last year

however, ultra-high resolution microscope is most suitable for thin samples, and it takes a long time to image large samples. "If you want to analyze the brain, or understand cancer cells in tumor metastasis, or study immune cells that attack yourself, you need to observe large pieces of tissue at a high-resolution level," Boyden said

Jinan Shijin currently has more than 20 product series and more than 300 products. In order to make tissue samples easier to image, researchers used gel made of polyacrylate, which is a highly absorbent material, usually used in diapers

researchers first labeled the cell components or proteins they wanted to study with antibodies, which not only attached fluorescent dyes, but also attached dyes to polyacrylates. Researchers add the correct matching objective lens and eyepiece to the sample, add polyacrylate and make it form a gel, and then digest the connecting protein to allow the sample to expand evenly. The sample expanded 100 times after encountering salt free water, but the localization of fluorescent markers in the whole other tissues did not change

people usually use ordinary confocal microscope for fluorescence imaging, but its resolution can only reach hundreds of nanometers. By magnifying the sample, the researchers achieved a resolution of 70nm with a confocal microscope. "This expansion microscopy technology can be well integrated into the existing microscopic system in the laboratory," Chen added

large sample

mit's research team used this expansion microscopy technology to image 500 images under a conventional confocal microscope × two hundred × 100 micron brain tissue section. Other ultra-high resolution technologies are difficult to image such a large sample

"other technologies can achieve higher resolution at present, but it is difficult and slow to use," tillberg said. "The advantage of our method is that it is simple to use and supports large samples."

researchers believe that this technology is very useful for studying the neural connections of the brain. Boyden's team focuses on brain research, but this technology is also applicable to the research of tumor metastasis, tumor angiogenesis, autoimmune diseases and so on

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