Chip-based multimodal super-resolution microscopy for histological investigations of cryopreserved tissue sections

Light Sci Appl. 2022 Feb 24;11(1):43. doi: 10.1038/s41377-022-00731-w.


Histology involves the observation of structural features in tissues using a microscope. While diffraction-limited optical microscopes are commonly used in histological investigations, their resolving capabilities are insufficient to visualize details at subcellular level. Although a novel set of super-resolution optical microscopy techniques can fulfill the resolution demands in such cases, the system complexity, high operating cost, lack of multi-modality, and low-throughput imaging of these methods limit their wide adoption for histological analysis. In this study, we introduce the photonic chip as a feasible high-throughput microscopy platform for super-resolution imaging of histological samples. Using cryopreserved ultrathin tissue sections of human placenta, mouse kidney, pig heart, and zebrafish eye retina prepared by the Tokuyasu method, we demonstrate diverse imaging capabilities of the photonic chip including total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, intensity fluctuation-based optical nanoscopy, single-molecule localization microscopy, and correlative light-electron microscopy. Our results validate the photonic chip as a feasible imaging platform for tissue sections and pave the way for the adoption of super-resolution high-throughput multimodal analysis of cryopreserved tissue samples both in research and clinical settings.