Single-Molecule Spectroscopy, Superresolution Imaging, and Trapping of Single Biomolecules

Executive Summary:
The Moerner Laboratory utilizes laser spectroscopy and microscopy of single molecules to probe biological processes, one biomolecule at a time.  Primary thrusts include development and application of fluorescence microscopy far beyond the optical diffraction limit by PALM/STORM and STED approaches, invention and validation of methods for precise and accurate 3D optical microscopy in cells, and trapping of single biomolecules in solution for extended study.  These approaches are applied to explore protein localization patterns in bacteria, to measure structures of amyloid aggregates in cells, to the behavior of signaling proteins in the primary cilium, and to the dynamics of DNA and RNA in cells and viruses.

Click on any image below for more information. For Single Molecule Movies, [click here]! For Affiliations/Centers, scroll down!

Single-Molecule Basics

Superresolution Imaging by Single-Molecule Active Control Microscopy (SMACM) and STED Microscopy

Superresolution Imaging in Three Dimensions Using Single Molecule Emitters

Trapping Single Biomolecules and Enzymes in Solution for Extended Study
Chaperonins and Protein Aggregation Diseases

Biophysics, Cellular Imaging

Other Single-Molecule Studies

Ultrasensitive Detection

Past Projects:

Photorefractive Polymers


NIH Exploratory Center for Single-Molecule Imaging in Cells

NIH Nanomedicine Center for Protein Folding Machinery

Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford

The Bio-X Program at Stanford University


Research Support

In recent years, this research has been supported in part by the following organizations, to whom we are grateful!

      • The National Institutes of Health
      • The National Science Foundation
      • The Department of Energy
      • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency