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Nano Lett. 2009 Nov;9(11):3883-9. doi: 10.1021/nl902087d.

Super-resolution laser scanning microscopy through spatiotemporal modulation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, USA.


Super-resolution optical microscopy has attracted great interest among researchers in many fields, especially in biology where the scale of physical structures and molecular processes fall below the diffraction limit of resolution for light. As one of the emerging techniques, structured illumination microscopy can double the resolution by shifting unresolvable spatial frequencies into the pass-band of the microscope through spatial frequency mixing with a wide-field structured illumination pattern. However, such a wide-field scheme typically can only image optically thin samples and is incompatible with multiphoton processes such as two-photon fluorescence, which require point scanning with a focused laser beam. Here, we propose two new super-resolution schemes for laser scanning microscopy by generalizing the concept of a spatially nonuniform imaging system. One scheme, scanning patterned illumination (SPIN) microscopy, employs modulation of the excitation combined with temporally cumulative imaging by a nondescanned array detector. The other scheme, scanning patterned detection (SPADE) microscopy, utilizes detection modulation together with spatially cumulative imaging, in this case by a nondescanned single-element detector. When combined with multiphoton excitation, both schemes can image thick samples with three-dimensional optical sectioning and much improved resolution.

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