Axial Resolution Enhancement by 4Pi Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy with Two-Photon Excitation
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- Glaschick, S., Röcker, C., Deuschle, K. et al. J Biol Phys (2007) 33: 433. doi:10.1007/s10867-008-9084-1
Confocal fluorescence microscopy and two-photon microscopy have become important techniques for the three-dimensional imaging of intact cells. Their lateral resolution is about 200–300 nm for visible light, whereas their axial resolution is significantly worse. By superimposing the spherical wave fronts from two opposing objective lenses in a coherent fashion in 4Pi microscopy, the axial resolution is greatly improved to ∼100 nm. In combination with specific tagging of proteins or other cellular structures, 4Pi microscopy enables a multitude of molecular interactions in cell biology to be studied. Here, we discuss the choice of appropriate fluorescent tags for dual-color 4Pi microscopy and present applications of this technique in cellular biophysics. We employ two-color fluorescence detection of actin and tubulin networks stained with fluorescent organic dyes; mitochondrial networks are imaged using the photoactivatable fluorescent protein EosFP. A further example concerns the interaction of nanoparticles with mammalian cells.