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Nature Methods - May 2015 - High- and super-resolution imaging using single-objective SPIM

Selective-Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM) is a recent but well established 3D imaging technique, awarded method of the year 2015. Due to its high sensitivity and very efficient background rejection capability, SPIM is the method of choice for the 3D live fluorescence imaging of pluricellular organisms such as embryos. Standard SPIM usually require 2 objectives with orthogonal optical axis, one for the generation of the excitation light sheet, the second one for fluorescence imaging. This layout imposes severe mechanical constraints, which are detrimental for high and super-resolution imaging. In a paper entitled “3D high- and super-resolution imaging using single-objective SPIM” published Monday in Nature Methods, researchers from the IINS in Bordeaux and MBI in Singapore describe a new SPIM method called soSPIM (Single Objective SPIM) requiring only on objective. This versatile technique allows for 3D imaging of biological structures ranging from the single-cell to full embryos. Very interestingly soSPIM extends the range of operation of single-molecule localization super-resolution microscopy (awarded by the Nobel price of chemistry in 2014), commonly limited to a few micrometers above the glass coverslip, to tenth of microns. This opens new capabilities for investigating living complex biological structures, like brain slices, with very high spatial and temporal resolutions and low photo-toxicity. The core technology of soSPIM which is based on small microfabricated mirrors has been patented by NUS, CNRS and Univ. Bordeaux, and its commercialization is currently under way in collaboration with industrial partners.

Remi Galland, Gianluca Grenci, Ajay Aravind, Virgile Viasnoff*, Vincent Studer* & Jean-Baptiste Sibarita*
* Contributed equally to this work

Jean-Baptiste Sibarita

Published online: 11 May 2015