Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Cell Biology

First Advisor

Lin, Chenxiang


Fluorescence microscopy has been one of the most discovery-rich methods in biology. In the digital age, the discipline is becoming increasingly quantitative. Virtually all biological laboratories have access to fluorescence microscopes, but abilities to quantify biomolecule copy numbers are limited by the complexity and sophistication associated with current quantification methods. Here, we present DNA-origami-based fluorescence brightness standards for counting 5–300 copies of proteins in bacterial and mammalian cells, tagged with fluorescent proteins or membrane-permeable organic dyes. Compared to conventional quantification techniques, our brightness standards are robust, straightforward to use, and compatible with nearly all fluorescence imaging applications, thereby providing a practical and versatile tool to quantify biomolecules via fluorescence microscopy.