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Quantum Dots for Improved Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy

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posted on 08.03.2021, 18:40 by Jennifer M. Urban, Wesley Chiang, Jennetta W. Hammond, Nicole M. B. Cogan, Angela Litzburg, Rebeckah Burke, Harry A. Stern, Harris A. Gelbard, Bradley L. Nilsson, Todd D. Krauss
Colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have long established their versatility and utility for the visualization of biological interactions. On the single-particle level, QDs have demonstrated superior photophysical properties compared to organic dye molecules or fluorescent proteins, but it remains an open question as to which of these fundamental characteristics are most significant with respect to the performance of QDs for imaging beyond the diffraction limit. Here, we demonstrate significant enhancement in achievable localization precision in QD-labeled neurons compared to neurons labeled with an organic fluorophore. Additionally, we identify key photophysical parameters of QDs responsible for this enhancement and compare these parameters to reported values for commonly used fluorophores for super-resolution imaging.