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Carmichael’s Concise Review


in hippocampal neuronal cultures demonstrated that misfolded proteins were sequestered within inclusions in astrocytes rather than neurons ( Figure 1 ). T is may serve a protective function by sequestering potentially harmful proteins. T is in turn suggests that the astrocyte resistance that has been observed previously could be due to their ability to actively form protein inclusions that isolate toxic proteins, something neurons are unable to do. T ese and other studies demonstrated improved sensitivity, resolution, labeling versatility, and biocompatibility that complement fl uorescence microscopy. In addition, Wei et al. suggested that their technique can be further improved in at least 3 ways. First, the dye palette could potentially be expanded to 50 or more colors by fi lling the rather broad cell-silent window with individual sharp peaks from new vibrational moieties. Secondly, genetically encoded infrared proteins could be engineered to serve as vibrational reporters. T ird, techniques (such as hyper-spectral imaging) could be implemented to realize faster and simultaneous signal acquisition. Because of all the improvements and potential improvements in the 24-color (super-multiplex) optical imaging approach developed by Wei et al., we can expect this new technology to fi nd wide application in the probing of complex biologic systems.


References [1] L Wei et al ., Nature 544 ( 2017 ) 465 – 70 . [2] T e author gratefully acknowledges Drs. Lu Wei and Wei Min for reviewing this article.


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