Expansion microscopy: principles and uses in biological research

Wassie AT*, Zhao Y*, Boyden ES (2019) Expansion microscopy: principles and uses in biological research, Nature Methods 16(1):33-41. (*, equal contributors)

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Many biological investigations require 3D imaging of cells or tissues with nanoscale spatial resolution. We recently discovered that preserved biological specimens can be physically expanded in an isotropic fashion through a chemical process. Expansion microscopy (ExM) allows nanoscale imaging of biological specimens with conventional microscopes, decrowds biomolecules in support of signal amplification and multiplexed readout chemistries, and makes specimens transparent. We review the principles of how ExM works, advances in the technology made by our group and others, and its applications throughout biology and medicine.


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