Emerging Trends in Multi-Modal Cell Imaging

Multi-modal cell imaging is the combination of two or more imaging techniques, and it plays a crucial role in advancing our understanding of cellular structures and functions. In the field of cellular biology research, imaging techniques provide invaluable insights into dynamic cellular processes, molecular composition, and overall cellular behavior. This blog post explores the emerging trends in multimodal cell imaging and the impact they have on the scientific community’s ability to uncover the complexities of cellular biology. 

Emerging Trends

In recent years, several emerging trends have been identified in multi-modal imaging and have been used to enhance our understanding of cellular biology. Some of these trends include nano-based multi-modal imaging and correlated multi-modal imaging (CMI), as well as new tools such as spatial omics technologies. We can see a promising future for multi-modal cell imaging techniques as technology continues to advance, but for now, let’s take a look at what we already have access to.

Correlated Multi-modal Imaging

CMI is another trend that has gained attention in recent years. It involves obtaining information about the same specimen using two or more complementary imaging modalities.1 By combining the strengths of different modalities, such as fluorescence imaging and electron microscopy, researchers can gain a more in-depth understanding of a specimen’s structure and function. CMI enables researchers to correlate molecular information with cellular and tissue morphology, providing valuable insights into cellular processes and interactions.

Integration of Fluorescence and Electron Microscopy

Briefly mentioned above, fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy are two powerful imaging techniques often used in cellular biology research that are being combined. Fluorescence microscopy utilizes fluorescent labeling to visualize specific cellular components or molecular interactions. On the other hand, electron microscopy produces high-resolution images of cellular structures. By combining these two techniques, researchers can take advantage of a wide range of benefits, resulting in a more in-depth understanding of cellular dynamics. 

Super-resolution Multi-Modal Imaging

Super-resolution microscopy has revolutionized the field of Multi-Modal Imaging in biological research by enabling unprecedented visualization of cellular structures and molecular interactions at nanometer-scale resolution. By overcoming the diffraction limit of conventional light microscopy, super-resolution techniques such as stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) provide intricate details of subcellular components. This breakthrough technology allows researchers to simultaneously examine multiple biological parameters, including protein localization, protein-protein interactions, and cell morphology, within the context of intact cellular systems. By combining super-resolution microscopy with complementary imaging modalities such as fluorescence, electron microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy, Multi-Modal Imaging approaches offer a powerful toolkit to unravel complex biological processes with exceptional precision and depth.

Spatial Omics Technologies

Spatial omics technologies are regarded as powerful tools in multi-modal cell imaging. These methods enable researchers to study cellular organizations and interactions within tissues at single-cell to subcellular resolution2. By identifying specific compartments or regions with a differential transcript or protein abundance, spatial omics technologies help define cellular phenotypes and uncover the intricate spatial relationships between cells within complex tissues.

Multi-Modal Cell Imaging with IDEA Bio-Medical

As imaging technologies continue to advance, we can expect further improvements in resolution, sensitivity, and imaging speed. Integrating multiple imaging modalities and developing innovative techniques will allow researchers to explore cellular biology with unprecedented detail and accuracy. Additionally, advancements in computational analysis and machine learning algorithms will facilitate the extraction of meaningful insights from complex imaging data, further enhancing our understanding of cellular processes and functions.

WiScan® Hermes SRRF: Multi-modal imaging in a single platform

IDEA Bio-Medical has recently added a very unique, first-of-its-kind feature to our flagship product, the WiScan® Hermes- automated oil dispensing module. This revolutionary capability allows fully automated scanning of multiwell plates, with image resolution as high as 100 nm. The incorporation of oil immersion objectives enables the generation of super-resolved images with SRRF (super-resolution radial fluctuations) technique.  This system is designed to empower researchers in their multi-modal cell imaging experiments. The Hermes SRRF establishes a new standard for simplicity and compactness in completely automated, image-based experimentation. 

With the WiScan® Hermes, researchers can streamline their multi-modal cell imaging workflows, reduce manual intervention, and focus on the core aspects of their experiments. The system’s automation capabilities, compatibility with external sources, and advanced image analysis software contribute to efficient data acquisition and analysis, enabling researchers to derive meaningful insights from their multi-modal imaging experiments.

Contact a member of IDEA Bio-medical today to learn more about enhancing your cell imaging applications.



    1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphy.2020.00047/full

    1. https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13059-022-02824-6