Multi-label in vivo STED microscopy by parallelized switching of reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins


Willig KI, Wegner W, Müller A, Calvet-Fournier V, Steffens H


Cell Reports


Cell Reports. 2021 Jun 1; 35 (9) 109192.


Despite the tremendous success of super-resolution microscopy, multi-color in vivo applications are still rare. Here we present live-cell multi-label STED microscopy in vivo and in vitro by combining spectrally separated excitation and detection with temporal sequential imaging of reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins (RSFPs). Triple-label STED microscopy resolves pre- and postsynaptic nano-organizations in vivo in mouse visual cortex employing EGFP, Citrine, and the RSFP rsEGP2. Combining the positive and negative switching RSFPs Padron and Dronpa-M159T enables dual-label STED microscopy. All labels are recorded quasi-simultaneously by parallelized on- and off-switching of the RSFPs within the fast-scanning axis. Depletion is performed by a single STED beam so that all channels automatically co-align. Such an addition of a second or third marker merely requires a switching laser, minimizing setup complexity. Our technique enhances in vivo STED microscopy, making it a powerful tool for studying multiple synaptic nano-organizations or the tripartite synapse in vivo.



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