The interior of a cell is highly heterogeneous where molecular and nanoscale dynamics span multiple time and length scales. And they all occur in three dimensions (3D). For example: How does a viral particle approach a living cell and become internalized? What are the dynamic molecule-level interactions that lead to a (un)successful viral entry? How does an intra-cellular cargo get delivered to its destination? To understand the molecule-to-nanoscale dynamics in the live-cell context, time must be explicitly considered. My group recognized this problem very early on and has developed a real-time 3D single-particle tracking (RT-3DSPT) technology which enables following a tagged nanoscale probe with 10 μs time resolution and ~10 nm spatial localization precision. The 3D multi-resolution imaging is achieved by integrating the high-resolution RT-3DSPT technology with the lower-resolution conventional two-photon confocal microscope.

Instrumentation and Technology Development

We continue to innovate ways of improving the imaging capability.

Application Scope

We are currently expanding the application scope of this instrument. More to come.