Researchers have unveiled a new microscopy technique that allows the visualization of animal tissue. It will help to study biological phenomena in even more detail.
Scientists have developed a new microscopy technique that allows ultra-high-resolution 3D images of subcellular structures from biological tissues at a depth of about 100 microns. This method will help identify changes that occur in neurons over time, during training, or as a result of illness.
The new approach is advanced microscopy based on spontaneous emission suppression (STED), a breakthrough technology that allows you to achieve nanoscale resolution by breaking the diffraction limit of optical microscopes. For the development of this technique, Stefan Hell received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014.
“Our microscope is the world’s first instrument to achieve 3-D STED resolution deep within living tissue,” the researchers noted. “Such advances in deep tissue imaging technology will enable researchers to directly visualize subcellular structures and dynamics in their native environment. The ability to study cellular behavior is critical to gaining a complete understanding of biological phenomena for biomedical research and pharmaceutical development. ”
STED microscopy is most commonly used to display cultured cell samples. Using the technique to obtain images of thick tissues or animals is much more difficult. This limitation occurs because tissue prevents light from penetrating deeply and focusing correctly, thereby impairing the microscope’s ability to achieve ultra-high resolution.
To solve this problem, the researchers combined STED microscopy with two-photon excitation (2PE) and adaptive optics. This technology corrects for distortions in the shape of light, optical aberrations that occur when imaging in and through tissue.