Super-resolution microscopies, such as single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM), allow the visualization of biomolecules at the nanoscale. The requirement to observe molecules multiple times during an acquisition has pushed the field to explore methods that allow the binding of a fluorophore to a target. This binding is then used to build an image via points accumulation for imaging nanoscale topography (PAINT), which relies on the stochastic binding of a fluorescent ligand instead of the stochastic photo-activation of a permanently bound fluorophore. Recently, systems that use DNA to achieve repeated, transient binding for PAINT imaging have become the cutting edge in SMLM. Here, we review the history of PAINT imaging, with a particular focus on the development of DNA-PAINT. We outline the different variations of DNA-PAINT and their applications for imaging of both DNA origamis and cellular proteins via SMLM. Finally, we reflect on the current challenges for DNA-PAINT imaging going forward.
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