Cells are a jumble of tightly packed proteins and organelles, and microscopists are constantly looking for improved ways of viewing them. In expansion microscopy, a reagent swells the cells during preparation for microscopy and allows a greater detail to be seen. Here, the technique reveals the relationship between the kinetochores (in red) and the microtubules of the mitotic spindle (in green) in a dividing cell.
A dividing PtK1 cell was stained with conventional secondary antibodies for tubulin (green) and kinetochores (red). DNA is stained in blue and imaged using Expansion Microscopy. Images were acquired on a standard confocal microscope. The spindle is approximately 14 µm from pole to pole, although, since the cell was expanded by 4X, it is 56 µm in the image.
Aaron Halpern PhD and Joshua Vaughan PhD, Depts. Chemistry, Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, USA