Between life and death: strategies to reduce phototoxicity in super-resolution microscopy

Kalina L Tosheva, Yue Yuan, Pedro Matos Pereira, Siân Culley, Ricardo Henriques (see publication in Journal )


Super-Resolution Microscopy enables non-invasive, molecule-specific imaging of the internal structure and dynamics of cells with sub-diffraction limit spatial resolution. One of its major limitations is the requirement for high-intensity illumination, generating considerable cellular phototoxicity. This factor considerably limits the capacity for live-cell observations, particularly for extended periods of time. Here, we overview new developments in hardware, software and probe chemistry aiming to reduce phototoxicity. Additionally, we discuss how the choice of biological model and sample environment impacts the capacity for live-cell observations.