Leica Microsystems signs license agreement for super-res STED technique

Leica Microsystems has signed an agreement with the Max Planck Society and the German Cancer Research Center to develop a super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy technique.

g-STED super-resolution microscopy technique boosts contrast and resolution in imaging live cells
g-STED super-resolution microscopy technique boosts contrast and resolution in imaging live cells
g-STED provides fundamentally improved spatial resolution over confocal microscopy in living cells. Here, the protein keratin is marked with the fluorescent protein Citrine in a living PtK2 cell. The insets show a magnified view of the marked areas, demonstrating the separation of features as small as 60 nm in the living cell. Fluorescence excitation occurred at 485 nm, while STED occurred at 592 nm using a CW beam. Scale bars = 1 μm. (Image courtesy of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry)

Leica Microsystems (Wetzlar, Germany) has signed an agreement with the Max Planck Society (Munich, Germany) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ; Heidelberg, Germany) to develop a super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy technique. The agreement gives Leica the license to develop the new technology, dubbed gated STED (g-STED), into a commercial product and put it on the market.

g-STED boosts the resolution and contrast previously attained with continuous-wave stimulated emission depletion (CW-STED) microscopy while reducing laser intensity. Doing so enhances photostability as well as live cell capability, bringing about more applications. g-STED also increases the number of questions that can be addressed with STED fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (STED-FCS), and will especially target the observation of molecule movements in the membrane of living cells.

Leica will commercialize g-STED for launch in the first half of 2012. Additionally, the company's existing TCS SP5 and TCS STED CW confocal systems can be upgraded with g-STED.

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