Posted in | News | Microscopy | Nanoanalysis

New Technique Uses Super-Resolution Microscopy to Image Live Cell Structures

Bo Huang, an assistant professor at Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California San Francisco, and Lei Zhu, an assistant professor at George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering of the Georgia Institute of Technology, have developed a new technique that enables a super-resolution microscope to perform live-cell imaging.

The image shows single-molecule identification. The green cross signs show the locations of single molecules using the super resolution technique. (Image Courtesy of Lei Zhu and Bo Huang)

According to Zhu, the discovery of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy techniques such as photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) has overcome the diffraction limit of light microscopes. These techniques depend on the ability to record the emission of light from a sample’s single molecule. STORM/PALM detects the position of designated molecules utilizing probe molecules that are capable of switching between an invisible and a visible state. A structure can be clearly defined using these positions.

The new technique developed by Huang and Zhu builds on global optimization utilizing compressed sensing, which eliminates the estimation or assumption of the number of molecules in an image. The researchers demonstrated that compressed sensing is able to work with molecules of higher densities when compared to competitive technologies and illustrated fluorescent protein-labeled microtubules’ live cell imaging with a temporal resolution of three seconds.

Zhu informed that this technique can now be used to provide a large field view utilizing super-resolution microscopy with a temporal resolution of seconds or sub-seconds to observe several cellular processes in motion to better understand the life of a cell. The novel technique provides unprecedented temporal resolution and required spatial resolution to take images of dynamic single cellular structures. With this method, researchers can now find answers for new biological questions.

According to the researchers, this new technique also enables scientists to explore a vesicle’s active transports and other payloads within cells. The study findings have been reported in the Nature Methods journal.



Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Georgia Institute of Technology. (2019, February 12). New Technique Uses Super-Resolution Microscopy to Image Live Cell Structures. AZoNano. Retrieved on February 29, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Georgia Institute of Technology. "New Technique Uses Super-Resolution Microscopy to Image Live Cell Structures". AZoNano. 29 February 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Georgia Institute of Technology. "New Technique Uses Super-Resolution Microscopy to Image Live Cell Structures". AZoNano. (accessed February 29, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Georgia Institute of Technology. 2019. New Technique Uses Super-Resolution Microscopy to Image Live Cell Structures. AZoNano, viewed 29 February 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Azthena logo powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.