One of the major recent scientific breakthroughs was the emergence of super-resolution optical nanoscopy. Nanoscale optical imaging currently plays a crucial role in biomedical sciences and has provided invaluable information about cellular structure and function at the macromolecular scale. However, the potential of this technology can be immensely enhanced. In this project a new optical technology, spectroscopic intrinsic-contrast photon-localization optical nanoscopy (SICLON), will be developed that will enable label-free nanoscale imaging of three-dimensional structure and molecular composition of cells with spatial resolution approaching 2 nm. SICLON is based on a newly discovered physical effect: most biopolymers, such as DNA, that until recently had been considered ?dark? in the visible regime exhibit stochastic fluorescence switching when illuminated by low- intensity visible light. The technology could have a profound impact on a wide range of biological research as it will become possible to do molecular-resolution, whole-cell, optical imaging without the use of labels.
One of the major recent scientific breakthroughs was the emergence of super-resolution optical nanoscopy. We will develop a new optical nanoscopy technology that will enable thus far unattainable direct imaging of cellular structure with nanometer resolution. The technology could have a profound impact on a wide range of biomedical research as we will be able to study macromolecular cellular processes and their alterations in disease in their natural state.