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About samples, giving examples: Optimized Single Molecule Localization Microscopy
- Jimenez, Angélique, Friedl, Karoline, Leterrier, Christophe
- Methods 2019
- DNA, cytoskeleton, guidelines, image analysis, microscopy, nanomaterials, organelles
- Super-resolution microscopy has profoundly transformed how we study the architecture of cells, revealing unknown structures and refining our view of cellular assemblies. Among the various techniques, the resolution of Single Molecule Localization Microscopy (SMLM) can reach the size of macromolecular complexes and offer key insights on their nanoscale arrangement in situ. SMLM is thus a demanding technique and taking advantage of its full potential requires specifically optimized procedures. Here we describe how we perform the successive steps of an SMLM workflow, focusing on single-color Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) as well as multicolor DNA Points Accumulation for imaging in Nanoscale Topography (DNA-PAINT) of fixed samples. We provide detailed procedures for careful sample fixation and immunostaining of typical cellular structures: cytoskeleton, clathrin-coated pits, and organelles. We then offer guidelines for optimal imaging and processing of SMLM data in order to optimize reconstruction quality and avoid the generation of artifacts. We hope that the tips and tricks we discovered over the years and detail here will be useful for researchers looking to make the best possible SMLM images, a pre-requisite for meaningful biological discovery.