Live-cell super-resolution imaging with synthetic fluorophores

Sebastian van de Linde, Mike Heilemann, Markus Sauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

223 Citations (Scopus)


Super-resolution imaging methods now can provide spatial resolution that is well below the diffraction limit approaching virtually molecular resolution. They can be applied to biological samples and provide new and exciting views on the structural organization of cells and the dynamics of biomolecular assemblies on wide timescales. These revolutionary developments come with novel requirements for fluorescent probes, labeling techniques, and data interpretation strategies. Synthetic fluorophores have a small size, are available in many colors spanning the whole spectrum, and can easily be chemically modified and used for stoichiometric labeling of proteins in live cells. Because of their brightness, their photostability, and their ability to be operated as photoswitchable fluorophores even in living cells under physiological conditions, synthetic fluorophores have the potential to substantially accelerate the broad application of live-cell super-resolution imaging methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-540
Number of pages22
Journal Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • animals
  • cell Survival
  • fluorescent dyes/analysis
  • humans
  • microscopy, fluorescence/methods
  • staining and labeling/methods
  • chemical tags
  • super-resolution imaging methods


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