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J Biomed Opt. 2013 Jun;18(6):066016. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.066016.

Direct high-resolution label-free imaging of cellular nanostructure dynamics in living cells.

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Sungkyunkwan University, IBS Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics (CINAP), Department of Energy Science, Suwon, Republic of Korea.


We report the application of an optical microscope equipped with a high-resolution dark-field condenser for detecting dynamic responses of cellular nanostructures in real time. Our system provides an easy-to-use technique to visualize biological specimens without any staining. This system can visualize the dynamic behavior of nanospheres and nanofibers, such as F-actin, at the leading edges of adjacent neuronal cells. We confirmed that the nanofibers imaged with this high-resolution optical microscopic technique are F-actin by using fluorescence microscopy after immunostaining the F-actin of fixed cells. Furthermore, cellular dynamics are enhanced by applying noncontact electric field stimulation through a transparent graphene electric field stimulator. High-resolution label-free optical microscopy enables the visualization of nanofiber dynamics initiated by filopodial nanofiber contacts. In conclusion, our optical microscopy system allows the visualization of nanoscale cellular dynamics under various external stimuli in real time without specific staining.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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