One of the first super-resolution techniques was stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy. It is based on a well-thought-out interplay of fine optics and photo physical processes and delivers super-resolution in a purely optical way on a confocal platform. Another technique called localization microscopy also stimulates individual fluorescent labels on a specimen, but it switches them on randomly rather than sequentially. There are different versions including photo-activated localization microscopy (PALM), stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), and ground state depletion followed by individual molecule return (
Super-Resolution Microscopy – Get Your Free e-Book for Download
Until recently, the diffraction of light had placed a fundamental limit on how far biologists could peer into cells with optical microscopes, preventing them from resolving features less than 250 nm in size, missing critical structures within cells. Over the past 20 years scientists have developed several ingenious techniques allowing them to resolve features as small as 20 nm.
The Essential Knowledge Briefing, published by Wiley & Sons in partnership with Leica Microsystems, provides a general introduction to the field of super-resolution microscopy, describes potential problems and reveals forthcoming advances.