Super-resolution Microscopy: A Comparison of Commercially Available Options

Jennifer A. Thorley*, Jeremy Pike, Joshua Z. Rappoport

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

28 Scopus citations


Although fluorescence microscopy has had a major impact on biomedical research, the resolution barrier inherent in light microscopy restricts the ability to differentiate between objects closer together than ~250 nm and prevents the true sizing of structures smaller than this limit. Recent innovations have led to the development of three main commercially available options for super-resolution microscopy that effectively break this diffraction limit: structured illumination microscopy (SIM), stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM)/photoactivation localization microscopy (PALM), and stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED). The goal of this chapter is to describe the physical basis for these techniques as well as practical information for each, to provide the potential user with a basis for comparison and determination of the optimal choice for specific applications. Finally, innovative variations of these techniques for particular biological studies, as well as descriptions of new alternative techniques are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFluorescence Microscopy
Subtitle of host publicationSuper-Resolution and other Novel Techniques
PublisherElsevier Inc
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780124167131
ISBN (Print)9780124095137
StatePublished - Mar 18 2014


  • Photoactivation localization microscopy
  • Stimulated emission depletion microscopy
  • Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy
  • Structured illumination microscopy
  • Super-resolution microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Super-resolution Microscopy: A Comparison of Commercially Available Options'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this