Expansion microscopy (ExM) increases the effective resolving power of any microscope by expanding the sample with swellable hydrogel. Since its invention, ExM has been successfully applied to a wide range of cell, tissue, and animal samples. Still, fluorescence signal loss during polymerization and digestion limits molecular-scale imaging using ExM. Here, we report the development of label-retention ExM (LR-ExM) with a set of trifunctional anchors that not only prevent signal loss but also enable high-efficiency labeling using SNAP and CLIP tags. We have demonstrated multicolor LR-ExM for a variety of subcellular structures. Combining LR-ExM with superresolution stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), we have achieved molecular resolution in the visualization of polyhedral lattice of clathrin-coated pits in situ.

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