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Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy with Polarization-Maintaining Fiber

This technology enables the examination of subjects without needing them to remain in a fixed spot

Published: 1st February 2023
Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy with Polarization-Maintaining Fiber
Source: tilialucida, https://stock.adobe.com/uk/419939903, stock.adobe.com

Background

STED microscopy is an important technique that can overcome the diffraction limit and resolve structures on the order of ~40mm. It is a powerful method that is particularly useful in a biological setting with fluorophores, where it can be used to monitor subcellular activity in situ. The applicability of STED can be enhanced by moving from free space to fiber optics, opening up the possibility for endoscopic and in vivo sub-diffraction limited imaging. Standard commercially available step index fiber does not support orbital angular momentum modes as eigenmodes and there is therefore a need for improved methods and systems for STED microscopy.

Technology Overview

Researchers at the University of Colorado have come up with a method for STED microscopy of a fluorescent species in an object to be imaged, the fluorescent excitation wavelength a fluorescence depletion wavelength and a fluorescence emission wavelength.

With STED microscopy with a polarization-maintaining fiber you can examine subjects without needing them to remain in a fixed spot. This makes more accurate examination where subjects are free to move naturally possible.

Figure 1.

Benefits

  • Ability to study humans and animals on move using STED microscopy providing a more natural environment for them.
  • Ability to do a STED microscopy examination of patients acting more naturally then when being at a fixed spot.
  • More comfortable STED microscopy examinations for the patient

Applications

  • Medical examination
  • Animal studies
  • Human and certain drug studies