Blind sparse inpainting reveals cytoskeletal filaments with sub-Nyquist localization

Yanhua Wang, Shu Jia, Hao F. Zhang, Doory Kim, Hazen Babcock, Xiaowei Zhuang, Leslie Ying*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM), such as stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy and (fluorescence) photoactivated localization microscopy, has enabled superresolution microscopy beyond the diffraction limit. However, the temporal resolution of SMLM is limited by the time needed to acquire sufficient sparse single-molecule activation events to successfully construct a superresolution image. Here, a novel fast SMLM technique is developed to achieve superresolution imaging within a much shortened duration. This technique does not require a faster switching rate or a higher activation density, which may cause signal degradation or photodamage/bleaching, but relies on computational algorithms to reconstruct a high-density superresolution image from a low-density one using the concept of blind image inpainting. Our results demonstrate that the technique reduces the acquisition time by up to two orders of magnitude compared to the conventional method while achieving the same high resolution. We anticipate our technique to enable future real-time live cell imaging with even higher resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number301667
Pages (from-to)1277-1284
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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