Student Seminar

Improving the resolution of single-molecule tracking using Minimal Photon Fluxes (MINFLUX)

Luis Ramírez-Ramírez, SFU Physics
Location: C9000

Friday, 07 October 2022 01:30PM PDT


The Abbé diffraction limit (≈250 nm) plays an important role in the study of biological systems because it imposes insufficient resolution needed to track important molecular dynamics inside the cell. During the 20th century, many scientists believed that this limit will never be overcome. But, in recent years super-resolution techniques have broken this limitation; in 2014 the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was given to scientists developing these techniques. Stefan Hell was awarded a share of this prize for the development of Simulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy that uses spatial patterning of excitation light to provide enhanced spatial resolution. In this seminar, I will present a newer technique developed in his lab called MINFLUX that minimizes the photons required for high-precision localization. It merges advantages of stochastic super-resolution techniques that localize molecules via light emitted from the sample, with targeted illumination methods such as STED. MINFLUX reaches up to 1 nm spatial resolution and enhances the temporal resolution and localization by 100-fold compared to popular centroid localization methods. To illustrate this, I will show an example of ribosomal subunits diffusing in living cells, and three-dimensional multicolor localization of labeled proteins in the mitochondria.