Expansion Microscopy at BIC

We remind you that in our facility we develop Expansion Microscopy (ExM) in both cultured cells and tissue. ExM is a relatively new technique developed by Ed Boyden in 2015, that overcomes the resolution limits of conventional light microscopy. This technique consists in an isotropic expansion of cells of around 4 folds up to 10-20 folds (see Boyden’s lab protocols) preserving the nanoscale structures. After fluorescent labeling, crosslinking, and embedding in an acrylamide gel, cell content is digested and expanded. The whole protocol takes three to four days to complete and easy to implement. You can then use confocal or lattice light sheet microscopy with water immersion objectives to acquire images of expanded samples at super-resolution level.

As an example of the power of this technique, we can resolve pre- and post-synaptic compartments in neuronal cultures by conventional confocal microscopy (see picture) and, in collaboration with Mathieu Letellier from the IINS, we are able to observe contacts between astrocytes and neurons in organotypic slices (see video).

Contact us to know more and to try this amazing technique.