Super-resolution Microscopy

This article provides an overview of some of the key recent developments in super-resolution microscopy.

Super-resolution Microscopy

By Semrock

 

Prashant Prabhant, Ph.D. and Turan Erdogan, Ph.D.

 

Fluorescence microscopy has revolutionized the study of biological samples. Ever since the invention of fluorescence microscopy towards the beginning of the 20th century, significant technological advances have enabled elucidation of biological phenomenon at cellular, subcellular and even at molecular levels. However, the latest incarnation of the modern fluorescence microscope has led to a paradigm shift. This wave is about breaking the diffractionlimit first proposed in 1873 by Ernst Abbe. The implications of this development are profound.

This new technology, called super-resolution microscopy, allows for the visualization of cellular samples with a resolution similar to that of an electron microscope, yet it retains the advantages of an optical fluorescence microscope. This means it is possible to uniquely visualize desired molecular species in a cellular environment, even in three dimensions and now in live cells – all at a scale comparable to the spatial dimensions of the molecules under investigation. ...

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