Weber M, Leutenegger M, Stoldt S, Jakobs S, Mihaila TS, Butkevich AN, Hell SW
Nat. Photonics 15, 361–366 (2021).
We introduce MINSTED, a fluorophore localization and super-resolution microscopy concept based on stimulated emission depletion (STED) that provides spatial precision and resolution down to the molecular scale. In MINSTED, the intensity minimum of the STED doughnut, and hence the point of minimal STED, serves as a movable reference coordinate for fluorophore localization. As the STED rate, the background and the required number of fluorescence detections are low compared with most other STED microscopy and localization methods, MINSTED entails substantially less fluorophore bleaching. In our implementation, 200–1,000 detections per fluorophore provide a localization precision of 1–3 nm in standard deviation, which in conjunction with independent single fluorophore switching translates to a ~100-fold improvement in far-field microscopy resolution over the diffraction limit. The performance of MINSTED nanoscopy is demonstrated by imaging the distribution of Mic60 proteins in the mitochondrial inner membrane of human cells.