Thiele JC, Jungblut M, Helmerich DA, Tsukanov R, Chizhik A, Chizhik AI, Schnermann M, Sauer M, Nevskyi O, Enderlein J
Over the last two decades, super-resolution microscopy has seen a tremendous development in speed and resolution, but for most of its methods, there exists a remarkable gap between lateral and axial resolution. Similar to conventional optical microscopy, the axial resolution is by a factor three to five worse than the lateral resolution. One recently developed method to close this gap is metal-induced energy transfer (MIET) imaging which achieves an axial resolution down to nanometers. It exploits the distance dependent quenching of fluorescence when a fluorescent molecule is brought close to a metal surface. In the present manuscript, we combine the extreme axial resolution of MIET imaging with the extraordinary lateral resolution of single-molecule localization microscopy, in particular with direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM). This combination allows us to achieve isotropic three-dimensional super-resolution imaging of sub-cellular structures. Moreover, we employed spectral demixing for implementing dualcolor MIET-dSTORM that allows us to image and co-localize, in three dimensions, two different cellular structures simultaneously.