Expansion Microscopy of Lipid Membranes

Emmanouil D. Karagiannis*, Jeong Seuk Kang*, Tay Won Shin, Amauche Emenari, Shoh Asano, Leanne Lin, Emma K. Costa, IMAXT Grand Challenge Consortium, Adam H. Marblestone, Narayanan Kasthuri, Edward S. Boyden (2019) Expansion Microscopy of Lipid Membranes, bioRxiv 829903. (*, equal contribution)

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Lipids are fundamental building blocks of cells and their organelles, yet nanoscale resolution imaging of lipids has been largely limited to electron microscopy techniques. We introduce and validate a chemical tag that enables lipid membranes to be imaged optically at nanoscale resolution via a lipid-optimized form of expansion microscopy, which we call membrane expansion microscopy (mExM). mExM, via a novel post-expansion antibody labeling protocol, enables protein-lipid relationships to be imaged in organelles such as mitochondria, the endoplasmic reticulum, the nuclear membrane, and the Golgi apparatus. mExM may be of use in a variety of biological contexts, including the study of cell-cell interactions, intracellular transport, and neural connectomics.


Tools for mapping the molecular architecture and wiring of the brain

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