2017 Volume 52 Issue 2 Pages 72-76
Super-resolution microscopy enables fluorescence imaging of biological molecules or structures at the spatial resolution of the molecular scale beyond the diffraction limit of light, and is promised to become essential for the research of molecular biology. However, the performance of super-resolution cannot be always achieved, especially in case of deep imaging inside living tissues. This problem is caused by the disturbance of light used for the imaging. When light is transmitted through living cells and tissues, which contains various structures with different refractive indices, the light is intricately disturbed. This caused the image degradation in conventional (not super-resolution) live-cell imaging, and the degradation becomes severer in super-resolution imaging, which involves precise arrangement of light or complex calculation. Adaptive optics (AO), the technique to correct the optical disturbance, started to be applied to live-cell imaging to perform high-resolution imaging inside living tissues. AO has been developed in astronomy to correct the disturbance of light caused by atmospheric turbulence, and is now indispensable for the high-resolution imaging using ground-based telescopes. Here, we introduce the overview of AO and researches to apply AO to live-cell and super-resolution imaging. We also discuss the future advancement of the AO research for super-resolution imaging.