Blom H, Widengren J
Curr Opin Chem Biol 20 (-) 127-133 [2014-06-00; online 2014-06-28]
High resolution Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy has been demonstrated for fundamental studies in cells, living tissue and organisms. Today, a major trend in the STED technique development is to make the instruments simpler and more user-friendly, without compromising performance. This has become possible by new low-cost, turn-key laser technology and by implementing specifically designed phase plates and polarization elements, extending and simplifying the shaping of the laser beam profiles. These simpler and cheaper realizations of STED are now becoming more broadly available. In parallel with the continuous development of sample preparation and fluorophore reporter molecules ultimately setting the limit of the image quality, contrast and resolution, we can thus expect a significant increase in the use of STED, in science as well as for clinical and drug development purposes.