Thiele JC, Helmerich DA, Oleksiievets N, Tsukanov R, Butkevich E, Sauer M, Nevskyi O, Enderlein J
ACS Nano. 2020 Oct 9.
Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy is an important technique that adds another dimension to intensity and color acquired by conventional microscopy. In particular, it allows for multiplexing fluorescent labels that have otherwise similar spectral properties. Currently, the only super-resolution technique that is capable of recording super-resolved images with lifetime information is stimulated emission depletion microscopy. In contrast, all single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) techniques that employ wide-field cameras completely lack the lifetime dimension. Here, we combine fluorescence-lifetime confocal laser-scanning microscopy with SMLM for realizing single-molecule localization-based fluorescence-lifetime super-resolution imaging. Besides yielding images with a spatial resolution much beyond the diffraction limit, it determines the fluorescence lifetime of all localized molecules. We validate our technique by applying it to direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy and points accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography imaging of fixed cells, and we demonstrate its multiplexing capability on samples with two different labels that differ only by fluorescence lifetime but not by their spectral properties.