Three-dimensional live microscopy beyond the diffraction limit

Reto Fiolka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


In fluorescence microscopy it has become possible to fundamentally overcome the diffraction limited resolution in all three spatial dimensions. However, to have the most impact in biological sciences, new optical microscopy techniques need to be compatible with live cell imaging: image acquisition has to be fast enough to capture cellular dynamics at the new resolution limit while light exposure needs to be minimized to prevent photo-toxic effects. With increasing spatial resolution, these requirements become more difficult to meet, even more so when volumetric imaging is performed. In this review, techniques that have been successfully applied to three-dimensional, super-resolution live microscopy are presented and their relative strengths and weaknesses are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094002
JournalJournal of Optics (United Kingdom)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013



  • 3D imaging
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • live cell imaging
  • structured illumination
  • Super-resolution microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

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