Speedy sub-diffraction resolution microscopy achieved

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Andor Technology’s iXon+ EMCCD cameras have been used in the development of a new structured illumination microscopy approach that delivers ‘sub-diffraction’ resolution at high speed.

The instrument has been developed by a team from the University of San Francisco, led by Professor John Sedat, Assistant Professor Mats Gustafsson, and Dr David Agard, and is based on the employment of diffracted laser light to create a pattern of multiple interfering illumination beams.

Capture of images over several orientation of the beams incident on the sample, followed by intensive computational treatment, results in a final image with spatial resolution that is at least twice as fine as the 200-300nm best case resolution of classical microscopy.

Electron microscopy cannot be performed on living cells, and furthermore, is not compatible with use of fluorescent tags for greater specificity. The structured illumination set-up from UCSF has been successfully demonstrated on challenging sub-nuclear structural investigations.

Professor Sedat said: 'Using a parallel array of Andor’s iXon+ 897 EMCCD cameras as detectors, we have been able to develop this instrument with enhanced sensitivity and speed, critical to realise the implementation of the technique for high resolution imaging of challenging live specimens within a reasonable measurement period.'