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Biophys J. 2019 Apr 22. pii: S0006-3495(19)30333-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.04.015. [Epub ahead of print]

Enhancing Biochemical Resolution by Hyperdimensional Imaging Microscopy.

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Medical Research Council Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Medical Research Council Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Two decades of fast-paced innovation have improved the spatial resolution of fluorescence microscopy to enable molecular resolution with low invasiveness and high specificity. Fluorescence microscopy also enables scientists and clinicians to map and quantitate the physicochemical properties (e.g., analyte concentration, enzymatic activities, and protein-protein interactions) of biological samples. But the biochemical resolving power of fluorescence microscopy is not as well optimized as its spatial resolution. Current techniques typically observe only the individual properties of fluorescence, thus limiting the opportunities for sensing and multiplexing. Here, we demonstrate a new, to our knowledge, imaging paradigm, hyperdimensional imaging microscopy, which quantifies simultaneously and efficiently all the properties of fluorescence emission (excited-state lifetime, polarization, and spectra) in biological samples, transcending existing limitations. Such simultaneous detection of fluorescence features maximizes the biochemical resolving power of fluorescence microscopy, thereby providing the means to enhance sensing capabilities and enable heavily multiplexed assays. Just as multidimensional separation in mass-spectroscopy and multidimensional spectra in NMR have empowered proteomics and structural biology, we envisage that hyperdimensional imaging microscopy spectra of unprecedented dimensionality will catalyze advances in systems biology and medical diagnostics.

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