Neurons are of clear biomedical interest due to the vital role they play in transmitting signals around our brains and bodies. The ability to specifically label proteins in neurons and image them with high resolution is extremely important for understanding how they function and what happens in neurological diseases.
In the example shown below, the Nanoimager was used to image induced pluripotent stem cell derived neurons, with synaptophysin labeled with AlexaFluor647. Synaptophysin is a synaptic vesicle protein commonly used as a marker for synapse quantification. This imaging was performed under standard TIRF conditions, without applying super-resolution methods.
Imaging synapses under super‐resolution conditions would offer 20 nm resolution, sufficient even to investigate the spatial organisation of proteins at the synapse. There is also the opportunity for mapping neurons at this resolution and comparing the organisation and behaviour of synapses under different external stimuli.