Journal article

Guided STED nanoscopy enables super-resolution imaging of blood stage malaria parasites

Jan-Gero Schloetel, Joern Heine, Alan F Cowman, Michal Pasternak



Malaria remains a major burden world-wide, but the disease-causing parasites from the genus Plasmodium are difficult to study in vitro. Owing to the small size of the parasites, subcellular imaging poses a major challenge and the use of super-resolution techniques has been hindered by the parasites' sensitivity to light. This is particularly apparent during the blood-stage of the Plasmodium life cycle, which presents an important target for drug research. The iron-rich food vacuole of the parasite undergoes disintegration when illuminated with high-power lasers such as those required for high resolution in Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy. This causes major damage to the sampl..

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Awarded by EMBO Long Term fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Andreas Schonle for developing the software components required for guided STED within the Imspector software package and Thorsten Lang for instrument time for preliminary hemozoin detection tests. We thank Jake Baum from Imperial College London for critical comments on the manuscript. Michal Pasternak was supported by an EMBO Long Term fellowship award no: ALTF 793-2016.