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Schnitzbauer, Jörg; Strauss, Maximilian T.; Schlichthärle, Thomas; Schüder, Florian; Jungmann, Ralf (2017): Super-resolution microscopy with DNA-PAINT. In: Nature Protocols, Vol. 12, No. 6: pp. 1198-1228
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Super-resolution techniques have begun to transform biological and biomedical research by allowing researchers to observe structures well below the classic diffraction limit of light. DNA points accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (DNA PAINT) offers an easy-to-implement approach to localization-based super-resolution microscopy, owing to the use of DNA probes. In DNA-PAINT, transient binding of short dye-labeled ('imager') oligonucleotides to their complementary target ('docking') strands creates the necessary 'blinking to enable stochastic super-resolution microscopy. Using the programmability and specificity of DNA molecules as imaging and labeling probes allows researchers to decouple blinking from dye photophysics, alleviating limitations of current super-resolution techniques, making them compatible with virtually any single-molecule-compatible dye. Recent developments in DNA-PAINT have enabled spectrally unlimited multiplexing, precise molecule counting and ultra-high, molecular scale (sub-5-nm) spatial resolution, reaching 1-nm localization precision. DNA-PAINT can be applied to a multitude of in vitro and cellular applications by linking docking strands to antibodies. Here, we present a protocol for the key aspects of the DNA PAINT framework for both novice and expert users. This protocol describes the creation of DNA origami test samples, in situ sample preparation, multiplexed data acquisition, data simulation, super-resolution image reconstruction and post-processing such as drift correction, molecule counting (qPAINT) and particle averaging. Moreover, we provide an integrated software package, named Picasso, for the computational steps involved. The protocol is designed to be modular, so that individual components can be chosen and implemented per requirements of a specific application. The procedure can be completed in 1-2 d.