Super resolution has come to the cell imaging centre. In the guise of Applied Precision’s Deltavison OMX. This system can perform imaging of standard fluorescence samples with double the resolution of a “normal” confocal or widefield microscope. What is super resolution you ask?
In conventional microscope systems, image resolution is limited by the angle of light that can successfully interact with a feature in the sample and subsequently enter the objective lens. Smaller features in the image diffract light to higher and higher angles, and this diffracted light must be collected by the objective to resolve the feature. While objectives can be built with very high numerical apertures (a measure of the angle of collection of the light from the sample), a limit is reached when this diffracted light can no longer cross the interfaces between different refractive index components along the light path. This ultimately limits the resolution of all microscope systems. Once this limit is reached, the system is said to be diffraction limited.Super-Resolution is loosely defined as the ability for an imaging system to exceed this limit fixed by physics and the wavelength of light and provide resolutions that are significantly better than the diffraction limit described above.
The Deltavision OMX aims to increase resolution by applying a patterned illumination across the sample plane (see image below of pattern illumination of a DAPI stained animal cell nucleus). Post acqusition processing of a series of images in which this pattern has been translated across the image plane and rotated to three angles around the image plane results in a doubling of the resolution in all three spatial dimensions. Because resolution is a function of wavelength, our resolution is about 90nm for blue emitting dyes, 110nm for green emitting dyes, 130nm for red emitting dyes and 150nm for far red emitting dyes. Please contact Steve for more information.