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Diffraction-unlimited three-dimensional optical nanoscopy with opposing lenses

Nature Photonics volume 3, pages 381387 (2009) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The resolution of far-field optical microscopy stagnated for a century, but a quest began in the 1990s leading to nanoscale imaging of transparent fluorescent objects in three dimensions. Important elements in this pursuit were the synthesis of the aperture of two opposing lenses and the modulation or switching of the fluorescence of adjacent markers. The first element provided nearly isotropic three-dimensional resolution by improving the axial resolution by three- to sevenfold, and the second enabled the diffraction barrier to be overcome. Here, we review recent progress in the synergistic combination of these two elements which non-invasively provide an isotropic diffraction-unlimited three-dimensional resolution in transparent objects.

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Acknowledgements

Substantial contributions to the isoSTED imaging applications reviewed in this paper are from Chaitanya Ullal (block co-polymers), as well as Christian Wurm and Stefan Jakobs (mitochondria). We also thank Andreas Schönle, Claas v. Middendorf, and Jan Keller for helpful discussions and Jaydev Jethwa for critical reading. This work was supported by grants of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to A.E. and S.W.H (SFB 755).

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  1. Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Department of NanoBiophotonics, 37070 Göttingen, Germany.

    • Stefan W. Hell
    • , Roman Schmidt
    •  & Alexander Egner

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Correspondence to Stefan W. Hell.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2009.112

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