3D orbital tracking in a modified two-photon microscope: an application to the tracking of intracellular vesicles.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.3791/51794
The objective of this video protocol is to discuss how to perform and analyze a three-dimensional fluorescent orbital particle tracking experiment using a modified two-photon microscope(1). As opposed to conventional approaches (raster scan or wide field based on a stack of frames), the 3D orbital tracking allows to localize and follow with a high spatial (10 nm accuracy) and temporal resolution (50 Hz frequency response) the 3D displacement of a moving fluorescent particle on length-scales of hundreds of microns(2). The method is based on a feedback algorithm that controls the hardware of a two-photon laser scanning microscope in order to perform a circular orbit around the object to be tracked: the feedback mechanism will maintain the fluorescent object in the center by controlling the displacement of the scanning beam(3-5). To demonstrate the advantages of this technique, we followed a fast moving organelle, the lysosome, within a living cell(6,7). Cells were plated according to standard protocols, and stained using a commercially lysosome dye. We discuss briefly the hardware configuration and in more detail the control software, to perform a 3D orbital tracking experiment inside living cells. We discuss in detail the parameters required in order to control the scanning microscope and enable the motion of the beam in a closed orbit around the particle. We conclude by demonstrating how this method can be effectively used to track the fast motion of a labeled lysosome along microtubules in 3D within a live cell. Lysosomes can move with speeds in the range of 0.4-0.5 µm/sec, typically displaying a directed motion along the microtubule network(8).