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McKelvey School of Engineering

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Amyloid-beta (Aβ42) aggregates are characteristic Alzheimer’s disease signatures, but probing how their nanoscale architectures influence their growth and decay remains challenging using current technologies. Here, we apply time-lapse single-molecule orientation-localization microscopy (SMOLM) to measure the orientations and rotational “wobble” of Nile blue (NB) molecules transiently binding to Aβ42 fibrils. We correlate fibril architectures measured by SMOLM with their growth and decay over the course of 5 to 20 min visualized by single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM). We discover that stable Aβ42 fibrils tend to be well-ordered and signified by well-aligned NB orientations and small wobble. SMOLM also shows that increasing order and disorder are signatures of growing and decaying fibrils, respectively. We also observe SMLM-invisible fibril remodeling, including steady growth and decay patterns that conserve β-sheet organization. SMOLM reveals that increased fibril architectural heterogeneity is correlated with dynamic remodeling and that large-scale fibril remodeling tends to originate from strongly heterogeneous local regions.


This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Nano Lett., copyright © 2024 American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see

Available for download on Thursday, June 19, 2025