Mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, are essential organelles in eukaryotic cells. With their complex inner architecture featuring a smooth outer and a highly convoluted inner membrane, they are challenging objects for microscopy. The diameter of mitochondria is generally close to the resolution limit of conventional light microscopy, rendering diffraction-unlimited super-resolution light microscopy (nanoscopy) for imaging submitochondrial protein distributions often mandatory. In this review, we discuss what can be expected when imaging mitochondria with conventional diffraction-limited and diffraction-unlimited microscopy. We provide an overview on recent studies using super-resolution microscopy to investigate mitochondria and discuss further developments and challenges in mitochondrial biology that might by addressed with these technologies in the future.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.