ONI’s Nanoimager is a single-molecule fluorescence microscope. It can detect biomolecules such as protein markers for disease or pathogenic bacteria and viruses at single copy numbers, using fluorescence labeling. By single-molecule imaging, the Nanoimager can reveal the dynamics of molecular interactions, and the response of molecules to drugs and environmental changes. For the first time, this capability is possible on the desktop.
The Nanoimager has 3D, dual-color super-resolution functionality. Localization-based super-resolution imaging, offered by the Nanoimager, increases the level of detail around ten-fold relative to traditional fluorescence microscopy. This information could be vital in detecting subtle phenotypic changes in cells. Super-resolution imaging has proven success in capturing the intricate organization of the nucleus, cellular membranes and the cytoskeleton, with clear applications in the study of protein aggregation and exosomes. The Nanoimager brings super-resolution to beginners and experts alike.
Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) microscopy can report distances of less than 10 nanometres in real time. This could be between two interacting proteins, but also includes dynamic measurements of intra-molecular conformational changes. The unique capabilities of the Nanoimager to measure single-molecule FRET can be applied in understanding the mechanisms of enzymes and membrane proteins. The influence of natural and synthetic inhibitors could be quantitatively investigated at the nanoscale level.
The Nanoimager has a footprint smaller than a typical laptop. It is compact and robust, it does not require alignment and down-time has been virtually eliminated. An internal dampening system allows the Nanoimager to be used on a desktop or wet-lab bench. Automated focusing and sample exploration, combined with a large field of view, allows high-throughput and high-content imaging: millions of single molecules can be captured in one acquisition. The light engine that accompanies the Nanoimager can be placed on the floor or on the desk, similar to a desktop computer.
The Nanoimager software is intuitive and intelligent. Quantitative analysis of FRET traces or super-resolved images is available in real-time. Ultimately, the Nanoimager allows the user to focus on their biological question, not their experiment.
ONI’s goal is to bring the most advanced fluorescence microscopy methods to a whole new community of researchers, for whom such experiments may previously have been inaccessible. In this way, we can realize the full potential of single-molecule fluorescence for understanding cells and combatting disease at the molecular level. The Nanoimager was developed over the last 8 years in the research group of Professor Achillefs Kapanidis at the University of Oxford. Professor Kapanidis is a world leader in the use of single-molecule fluorescence to understand proteins that manipulate DNA and RNA. Using this experience, every aspect of the Nanoimager was carefully considered to improve the simplicity and efficiency of fluorescence imaging, to support researchers in answering vital biological questions and developing novel assays and sensors.