Physical Specimen Expansion

Enabling 3-D Large Volume, Nanoscale Imaging

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Welcome to the website for expansion microscopy protocols.

Here you can find relevant papers, protocols, materials lists, and advice on expansion microscopy (ExM), a new technology for imaging biological specimens with fine detail by physically making them bigger through a chemical process that preserves nanoscale isotropy. It enables super-resolution imaging on a conventional light microscope.

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Chang, J.-B., Chen, F., Yoon, Y.-G., Jung, E. E., Babcock H., Kang J.-S., Asano S., Suk H.-J., Pak N., Tillberg P.W., Wassie A., Cai D., Boyden E.S. (2016) Iterative expansion microscopy, Nature Methods, advance online publication, doi:10.1038/nmeth.4261. [Publisher link] [PDF]

Chen, F.*, Wassie, A.T.*, Cote, A.J., Sinha, A., Alon, S., Asano, S., Daugharthy, E.R., Chang, J.-B., Marblestone, A., Church, G.M., Raj, A., Boyden, E.S. (2016) Nanoscale Imaging of RNA with Expansion Microscopy, Nature Methods 13(8):679-84. (*, co-first authors) [Publisher link] [PDF]

Tillberg, P.W.*, Chen, F.*, Piatkevich, K.D., Zhao, Y., Yu, C.-C., English, B.P., Gao, L., Martorell, A., Suk, H.-J., Yoshida, F., DeGennaro, E.M., Roossien, D.H., Gong, G., Seneviratne, U., Tannenbaum, S.R., Desimone, R., Cai, D., Boyden, E.S. (2016) Protein-retention expansion microscopy of cells and tissues labeled using standard fluorescent proteins and antibodies, Nature Biotechnology 34:987992. (*, co-first authors) [Publisher link] [PDF]

Chen, F.*, Tillberg, P.W.*, Boyden, E.S. (2015) Expansion Microscopy, Science 347(6221):543-548. (*, equal contribution) [Publisher link] [PDF]


Talk at TED.com, "A new way to study the brain's invisible secrets," filmed June 2016. [Link]

Commercial Partners

Expansion Technologies, Inc. is producing kits and providing services for expansion microscopy. Note: if you are using kits from Expansion Technologies, please follow the protocols provided by the company. Financial disclosure: E.S.B. is a co-founder of Expansion Technologies, Inc.; many of the authors of the papers above are co-inventors on one or more patents related to expansion microscopy.