Mid-infraRed Optoacoustic Microscopy (MiROM)

Going beyond the frontier of label-free molecular microscopy in living cells

Image: MiROM micrograph of living adipocytes (1mm x 1mm): lipids (red), proteins (green), and carbohydrates (blue).

@Helmholtz Zentrum München / Miguel A. Pleitez

Label-free dynamic detection of biomolecules is a major challenge in live-cell microscopy. The simultaneous visualization of dynamic alterations for classes of metabolites, such as carbohydrates and lipids, was an unmet need in biomedical research.  We have now developed mid-infrared optoacoustic microscopy (MiROM) for label-free bond-selective live-cell metabolic imaging. Using acoustic detection of optical absorption, MiROM converts mid-infrared sensing to a positive-contrast imaging modality with negligible photodamage achieving high-sensitivity high-contrast spatiotemporal monitoring of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in cells and tissues. Performance is exemplified by observing changes in intrinsic carbohydrate distribution from a diffusive spatial pattern to tight co-localization with lipid droplets in the course of adipogenesis.

 Read more (link to press release)