NanoPlex: a universal strategy for fluorescence microscopy multiplexing using nanobodies with erasable signals


Mougios N, Cotroneo ER, Imse N, Setzke J, Rizzoli S, Simeth NA, Tsukanov R, Opazo F




bioRxiv 2024.03.18.585511.


Fluorescence microscopy has long been a transformative technique in biological sciences. Nevertheless, most implementations are limited to a few targets, revealed using primary antibodies (1.Abs) and fluorescently conjugated secondary antibodies. Super-resolution techniques such as Exchange-PAINT and, more recently, SUM-PAINT have increased multiplexing capabilities, but they require specialized equipment, software, and knowledge. To enable multiplexing for any imaging technique in any laboratory, we developed NanoPlex, a streamlined method based on conventional 1.Abs revealed by engineered secondary nanobodies (2.Nbs) that allow to selectively erase the fluorescence signals. We developed three complementary signal removal strategies: OptoPlex (light-induced), EnzyPlex (enzymatic), and ChemiPlex (chemical). We showcase NanoPlex reaching 21 targets for 3D confocal analyses and 5-8 targets for dSTORM and STED super-resolution imaging. NanoPlex has the potential to revolutionize multi-target fluorescent imaging methods, potentially redefining the multiplexing capabilities of antibody-based assays.