Fluorescence microscopy techniques play an essential role in biology and medicine. A very rapidly developing field concerns nanoscale imaging (“nanoscopy”), which today ties together different fields of biology such as structural and cell biology. Similarly, “single molecule” imaging and spectroscopy techniques are in rapid development and play a central role in life science research. All fluorescence microscopy methods are based on labelling samples with appropriate markers: fluorescent proteins, organic fluorophores or nanoparticles. All these type of markers are characterized by very complex photophysical behaviors, leading to blinking, chromatic conversion, photoreactivity, etc… However, nanoscopy and single molecule spectroscopy or imaging, specifically rely on the ability to understand and control these properties.
The school we offer is motivated by the fact that more and more laboratories around the world are committed to implementing advanced microscopy techniques, especially super-resolution, with an increasing number of dedicated platforms. However, there is a lack of overall knowledge about the selection of fluorescent markers, their properties and mechanisms, and the type of artifacts they can create. The school’s objective, through interdisciplinary teaching between physics, chemistry and biology, is to overcome this gap by transferring knowledge to the participants’ laboratories. Our school also aims to make participants aware of new developments in the field in order to prepare them to become major players in the breakthroughs that may result from them.