Christian Eggeling

Super-resolution microscopy: Challenges and Potentials in biomedical research

Professor of Super-resolution Microscopy, Institute of Applied Optics, Friedrich‐Schiller‐University & Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena, Germany
Professor of Molecular Immunology, MRC Human Immunology Unit & Scientific Director, Wolfson Imaging Centre Oxford, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford

Understanding the complex interactions of molecular processes underlying the efficient functioning of the human body is one of the main objectives of biomedical research. Scientifically, it is important that the applied observation methods do not influence the biological system during observation. A suitable tool that can cover all of this is optical far-field fluorescence microscopy. Yet, biomedical applications often demand coverage of a large range of spatial and temporal scales, and/or long acquisition times, which can so far not all be covered by a single microscope and puts some challenges on microscope infrastructure. Taking immune cell responses and plasma membrane organization as examples, we outline these challenges but also give new insights into possible solutions and the potentials of these advanced microscopy techniques, e.g. for solving long-standing questions such as of lipid membrane rafts.

Key words: Super-resolution microscopy, STED microscopy, STED-FCS, T-cell activation, plasma membrane organization, lipid rafts