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Nat Methods. 2019 Jan;16(1):33-41. doi: 10.1038/s41592-018-0219-4. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Expansion microscopy: principles and uses in biological research.

Wassie AT1,2,3,4, Zhao Y4,5, Boyden ES6,7,8,9,10,11.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
2
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
3
McGovern Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
4
Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
5
Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
6
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. esb@media.mit.edu.
7
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. esb@media.mit.edu.
8
McGovern Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. esb@media.mit.edu.
9
Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. esb@media.mit.edu.
10
Koch Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. esb@media.mit.edu.
11
Center for Neurobiological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. esb@media.mit.edu.

Abstract

Many biological investigations require 3D imaging of cells or tissues with nanoscale spatial resolution. We recently discovered that preserved biological specimens can be physically expanded in an isotropic fashion through a chemical process. Expansion microscopy (ExM) allows nanoscale imaging of biological specimens with conventional microscopes, decrowds biomolecules in support of signal amplification and multiplexed readout chemistries, and makes specimens transparent. We review the principles of how ExM works, advances in the technology made by our group and others, and its applications throughout biology and medicine.

PMID:
30573813
PMCID:
PMC6373868
DOI:
10.1038/s41592-018-0219-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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