Highly inclined thin illumination enables clear single-molecule imaging in cells

Nat Methods. 2008 Feb;5(2):159-61. doi: 10.1038/nmeth1171. Epub 2008 Jan 6.


We describe a simple illumination method of fluorescence microscopy for molecular imaging. Illumination by a highly inclined and thin beam increases image intensity and decreases background intensity, yielding a signal/background ratio about eightfold greater than that of epi-illumination. A high ratio yielded clear single-molecule images and three-dimensional images using cultured mammalian cells, enabling one to visualize and quantify molecular dynamics, interactions and kinetics in cells for molecular systems biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopolymers / metabolism*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Lighting / methods*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Systems Biology / methods


  • Biopolymers