Super-resolution microscopy: a brief history and new avenues

in: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences (2022)
Prakash, Kirti; Diederich, Benedict; Heintzmann, Rainer; Schermelleh, Lothar
Super-resolution microscopy (SRM) is a fastdeveloping field that encompasses fluorescence imaging techniques with the capability to resolve objects below the classical diffraction limit of optical resolution. Acknowledged with the Nobel prize in 2014, numerous SRM methods have meanwhile evolved and are being widely applied in biomedical research, all with specific strengths and shortcomings. While some techniques are capable of nanometrescale molecular resolution, others are geared towards volumetric three-dimensional multi-colour or fast live-cell imaging. In this editorial review, we pick on the latest trends in the field. We start with a brief historical overview of both conceptual and commercial developments. Next, we highlight important parameters for imaging successfully with a particular super-resolution modality. Finally, we discuss the importance of reproducibility and quality control and the significance of open-source tools in microscopy. This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue ’Super-resolution structured illumination microscopy (part 2)’.

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