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Expansion microscopy (ExM) is a newly developed technology in recent years that enables nanoscale imaging under conventional microscopes. Herein, we report an aptamer-based ExM imaging strategy. A nucleus-targeting aptamer Ch4-1 was chemically labeled with a dye and an acrydite at each end to perform the functions of molecular recognition, fluorescence reporting, and gel anchoring. After binding cell nucleus, the dual labeled aptamer Ac-Ch4-1-FAM directly participated in gelation and anchored in polyacrylamide gel. After expanding the gel, high-resolution imaging was achieved by confocal microscopy. Multicolor ExM imaging was also realized by combining Ac-Ch4-1-FAM, antibodies and fluorescent dyes. This aptamer-based ExM could clearly image the chromatin morphology at different mitotic stages. The expansion process is simple and the aptamer labeling is easy. The aptamer-based ExM holds great promise in super-resolution imaging of cells and tissues.


Yue Sun, Zhicheng Zhang, Tao Bing, Jing Liu, Weiwei Li, Xiangjun Liu, Nan Zhang, Yang Shu, Jianhua Wang, Dihua Shangguan. Aptamer-Based Cell Nucleus Imaging via Expansion Microscopy. Analytical chemistry. 2022 Apr 19;94(15):6044-6049

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PMID: 35380789

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