Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation Award - 2022 - Vytautas Navikas

© 2022 EPFL

© 2022 EPFL

Biophysical applications of correlative scanning probe and super-resolution microscopy

Thesis director: Prof. A. Radenovic

For his outstanding contributions to the development of novel correlative single-molecule imaging and single-molecule spectroscopy methods.

Imaging live cells in their native environment is crucial for the understanding of complex biological phenomena. Modern optical microscopy methods are increasingly combined with complementary, label-free techniques to put the high-resolution fluorescence information into cellular context. In my thesis, I was focusing on advancing state-of-the-art correlative scanning ion-conductance microscopy combined with novel super-resolution imaging techniques. The work presented in my thesis demonstrates various technological advancements for both imaging modalities as well as experimental proof-of-principle studies. The first part of the work is focused on a novel experimental combination of SICM and super-resolution optical fluctuation imaging for imaging single-cells. In order to increase the imaging depth for thick samples, a novel remote focusing modality based on an adaptive optics device was developed and applied to map single-cells in 3D. On top of that the significant advancements were made on the probe design for SICM microscopy, that allowed to progress towards the detection of dynamics of surface-immobilized single DNA molecules. The synergy between fundamentally different imaging modalities is likely to become necessary in the age of computational microscopy to ensure an unbiased data interpretation.