Subdiffraction fluorescence imaging of biomolecular structure and distributions with quantum dots

Meike Heidbreder, Ulrike Endesfelder, Sebastian van de Linde, Simon Hennig, Darius Widera, Barbara Kaltschmidt, Christian Kaltschmidt, Mike Heilemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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We introduce semiconductor quantum dot-based fluorescence imaging with ̃ 2-fold increased optical resolution in three dimensions as a method that allows both studying cellular structures and spatial organization of biomolecules in membranes and subcellular organelles. Target biomolecules are labelled with quantum dots via immunocytochemistry. The resolution enhancement is achieved by three-photon absorption of quantum dots and subsequent fluorescence emission from a higher-order excitonic state. Different from conventional multiphoton microscopy, this approach can be realized on any confocal microscope without the need for pulsed excitation light. We demonstrate quantum dot triexciton imaging (QDTI) of the microtubule network of U373 cells, 3D imaging of TNF receptor 2 on the plasma membrane of HeLa cells, and multicolor 3D imaging of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase and actin in COS-7 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1229
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number10
Early online date23 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2010


  • fluorescence microscopy
  • mitochondrial inner membrane
  • quantum dot triexciton imaging
  • superresolution
  • TNF receptor


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