Science Webinar Series

Webinar | The emergence of structured illumination microscopy: From home-built to commercial solutions

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Science  25 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6315, pp. 1055
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6315.1055-b


The diffraction limit for light microscopy (approximately half the wavelength of light used to image a sample) was for many years a barrier to truly high-resolution microscopy. Superresolution microscopy came about through the recognition that clever hardware design and digital image processing could break through the diffraction limit, enabling scientists to image down to the molecular level. Of all the superresolution techniques, structured illumination microscopy (SIM) is probably the most relevant for live samples, primarily because it is the most versatile and suitable for fairly long exposures and dynamic cell imaging. Stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED), photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), as well as techniques derived from them, provide higher-resolution images but tend to require considerably more laser power than SIM—making phototoxicity a significant problem. This webinar will provide a summary of superresolution microscopy, with a particular focus on SIM, and will highlight the important factors to consider when undertaking microscopy experiments, including hardware, software, and samples.