Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Expansion microscopy (ExM) has been successfully used to improve the spatial resolution when imaging tissues by optical microscopy. In ExM, proteins of a fixed sample are crosslinked to a swellable acrylamide gel, which expands when incubated in water. Therefore, ExM allows enlarged subcellular structures to be resolved that would otherwise be hidden to standard confocal microscopy. Herein, we aim to validate ExM for the study of peroxisomes, mitochondria, nuclei and the plasma membrane. Upon comparison of the expansion factors of these cellular compartments in HEK293 cells within the same gel, we found significant differences, of a factor of above 2, in expansion factors. For peroxisomes, the expansion factor differed even between peroxisomal membrane and matrix marker; this underlines the need for a thorough validation of expansion factors of this powerful technique. We further give an overview of possible quantification methods for the determination of expansion factors of intracellular organelles, and we highlight some potentials and challenges.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





686 - 693


STED microscopy, bioorganic chemistry, cell organelles, expansion microscopy, peptides