January 25, 2021

Super-Resolution Label-free Volumetric Vibrational Imaging

Innovations in high-resolution optical imaging have allowed visualization of nanoscale biological structures and connections. However, super-resolution fluorescence techniques, including both optics-oriented and sample-expansion based, are limited in quantification and throughput especially in tissues from photobleaching or quenching of the fluorophores, and low-efficiency or non-uniform delivery of the probes. Here, we report a general sample-expansion vibrational imaging strategy, termed VISTA, for scalable label-free high-resolution interrogations of protein-rich biological structures with resolution down to 82 nm. VISTA achieves decent three-dimensional image quality through optimal retention of endogenous proteins, isotropic sample expansion, and deprivation of scattering lipids. Free from probe-labeling associated issues, VISTA offers unbiased and high-throughput tissue investigations. With correlative VISTA and immunofluorescence, we further validated the imaging specificity of VISTA and trained an image-segmentation model for label-free multi-component and volumetric prediction of nucleus, blood vessels, neuronal cells and dendrites in complex mouse brain tissues. VISTA could hence open new avenues for versatile biomedical studies.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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