Superlocalized Three-Dimensional Live Imaging of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Neurons Using Plasmonic Nanohole Arrays

Taehwang Son, Dongsu Lee, Changhun Lee, Gwiyeong Moon, Go Eun Ha, Hongki Lee, Hankyul Kwak, Eunji Cheong, Donghyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the transport of neuronal mitochondria using superlocalized near-fields with plasmonic nanohole arrays (PNAs). Compared to traditional imaging techniques, PNAs create a massive array of superlocalized light beams and allow 3D mitochondrial dynamics to be sampled and extracted almost in real time. In this work, mitochondrial fluorescence excited by the PNAs was captured by an optical microscope using dual objective lenses, which produced superlocalized dynamics while minimizing light scattering by the plasmonic substrate. It was found that mitochondria move with an average velocity 0.33 ± 0.26 μm/s, a significant part of which, by almost 50%, was contributed by the movement along the depth axis (z-axis). Mitochondrial positions were acquired with superlocalized precision (σ x = 5.7 nm and σ y = 11.8 nm) in the lateral plane and σ z = 78.7 nm in the z-axis, which presents an enhancement by 12.7-fold in resolution compared to confocal fluorescence microscopy. The approach is expected to serve as a way to provide 3D information on molecular dynamics in real time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3063-3074
Number of pages12
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 26

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the support by the National Research Foundation (NRF) grants funded by the Korean Government (2017R1A2B3011098 to E.C. and 2018R1D1A1B07042236 to D.K.). Authors are grateful to Mr. Gyeong-Eon Chang for the preparation of mouse neuron cells.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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