Stanford Advisors

  • W Moerner, Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)

All Publications

  • Three-Dimensional Localization of Single Molecules for Super-Resolution Imaging and Single-Particle Tracking. Chemical reviews von Diezmann, A., Shechtman, Y., Moerner, W. E. 2017


    Single-molecule super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and single-particle tracking are two imaging modalities that illuminate the properties of cells and materials on spatial scales down to tens of nanometers or with dynamical information about nanoscale particle motion in the millisecond range, respectively. These methods generally use wide-field microscopes and two-dimensional camera detectors to localize molecules to much higher precision than the diffraction limit. Given the limited total photons available from each single-molecule label, both modalities require careful mathematical analysis and image processing. Much more information can be obtained about the system under study by extending to three-dimensional (3D) single-molecule localization: without this capability, visualization of structures or motions extending in the axial direction can easily be missed or confused, compromising scientific understanding. A variety of methods for obtaining both 3D super-resolution images and 3D tracking information have been devised, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. These include imaging of multiple focal planes, point-spread-function engineering, and interferometric detection. These methods may be compared based on their ability to provide accurate and precise position information on single-molecule emitters with limited photons. To successfully apply and further develop these methods, it is essential to consider many practical concerns, including the effects of optical aberrations, field dependence in the imaging system, fluorophore labeling density, and registration between different color channels. Selected examples of 3D super-resolution imaging and tracking are described for illustration from a variety of biological contexts and with a variety of methods, demonstrating the power of 3D localization for understanding complex systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00629

    View details for PubMedID 28151646

  • Correcting field-dependent aberrations with nanoscale accuracy in three-dimensional single-molecule localization microscopy OPTICA von Diezmann, A., Lee, M. Y., Lew, M. D., Moerner, W. E. 2015; 2 (11): 985-993
  • Bacterial scaffold directs pole-specific centromere segregation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Ptacin, J. L., Gahlmann, A., Bowman, G. R., Perez, A. M., von Diezmann, A. R., Eckart, M. R., Moerner, W. E., Shapiro, L. 2014; 111 (19): E2046-55


    Bacteria use partitioning systems based on the ParA ATPase to actively mobilize and spatially organize molecular cargoes throughout the cytoplasm. The bacterium Caulobacter crescentus uses a ParA-based partitioning system to segregate newly replicated chromosomal centromeres to opposite cell poles. Here we demonstrate that the Caulobacter PopZ scaffold creates an organizing center at the cell pole that actively regulates polar centromere transport by the ParA partition system. As segregation proceeds, the ParB-bound centromere complex is moved by progressively disassembling ParA from a nucleoid-bound structure. Using superresolution microscopy, we show that released ParA is recruited directly to binding sites within a 3D ultrastructure composed of PopZ at the cell pole, whereas the ParB-centromere complex remains at the periphery of the PopZ structure. PopZ recruitment of ParA stimulates ParA to assemble on the nucleoid near the PopZ-proximal cell pole. We identify mutations in PopZ that allow scaffold assembly but specifically abrogate interactions with ParA and demonstrate that PopZ/ParA interactions are required for proper chromosome segregation in vivo. We propose that during segregation PopZ sequesters free ParA and induces target-proximal regeneration of ParA DNA binding activity to enforce processive and pole-directed centromere segregation, preventing segregation reversals. PopZ therefore functions as a polar hub complex at the cell pole to directly regulate the directionality and destination of transfer of the mitotic segregation machine.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1405188111

    View details for PubMedID 24778223

  • Bacterial scaffold directs pole-specific centromere segregation PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Ptacin, J. L., Gahlmann, A., Bowman, G. R., Perez, A. M., von Diezmann, A. R., Eckart, M. R., Moerner, W. E., Shapiro, L. 2014; 111 (19): E2046-E2055
  • A bisected pupil for studying single-molecule orientational dynamics and its application to three-dimensional super-resolution microscopy APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Backer, A. S., Backlund, M. P., von Diezmann, A. R., Sahl, S. J., Moerner, W. E. 2014; 104 (19)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4876440

    View details for Web of Science ID 000336918600075

  • Quantitative Multicolor Subdiffraction Imaging of Bacterial Protein Ultrastructures in Three Dimensions NANO LETTERS Gahlmann, A., Ptacin, J. L., Grover, G., Quirin, S., von Diezmann, A. R., Lee, M. K., Backlund, M. P., Shapiro, L., Piestun, R., Moerner, W. E. 2013; 13 (3): 987-993


    We demonstrate quantitative multicolor three-dimensional (3D) subdiffraction imaging of the structural arrangement of fluorescent protein fusions in living Caulobacter crescentus bacteria. Given single-molecule localization precisions of 20-40 nm, a flexible locally weighted image registration algorithm is critical to accurately combine the super-resolution data with <10 nm error. Surface-relief dielectric phase masks implement a double-helix response at two wavelengths to distinguish two different fluorescent labels and to quantitatively and precisely localize them relative to each other in 3D.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl304071h

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316243800020

    View details for PubMedID 23414562

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3599789

  • Easy-DHPSF open-source software for three-dimensional localization of single molecules with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit. Protocol exchange Lew, M. D., von Diezmann, A. R., Moerner, W. E. 2013; 2013


    Automated processing of double-helix (DH) microscope images of single molecules (SMs) streamlines the protocol required to obtain super-resolved three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of ultrastructures in biological samples by single-molecule active control microscopy. Here, we present a suite of MATLAB subroutines, bundled with an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI), that facilitates 3D localization of single emitters (e.g. SMs, fluorescent beads, or quantum dots) with precisions of tens of nanometers in multi-frame movies acquired using a wide-field DH epifluorescence microscope. The algorithmic approach is based upon template matching for SM recognition and least-squares fitting for 3D position measurement, both of which are computationally expedient and precise. Overlapping images of SMs are ignored, and the precision of least-squares fitting is not as high as maximum likelihood-based methods. However, once calibrated, the algorithm can fit 15-30 molecules per second on a 3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo workstation, thereby producing a 3D super-resolution reconstruction of 100,000 molecules over a 20×20×2 μm field of view (processing 128×128 pixels × 20000 frames) in 75 min.

    View details for PubMedID 25279136