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Challenges and Opportunities in Superresolution

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This increasingly popular research tool is opening the way to structures beyond the reach of traditional optical microscopes.

RUSSELL ULBRICH, OLYMPUS AMERICA INC., SCIENTIFIC SOLUTIONS GROUP

Much of our understanding of biology has come from our ability to image biological processes and structures through microscopes. But until recently, the imaging of intracellular structures and activities has been constrained by the optical resolution limit of the imaging systems themselves. This diffraction limit, first stipulated by Ernst Abbe in 1873, established the maximum resolution of an optical system to be about 200 nm in the X-Y (lateral) direction. (In addition, a theoretical limit of about 500 to 700 nm exists in Z [depth].) This means that many subcellular structures and dynamics...Read full article

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