Aberrations and adaptive optics in super-resolution microscopy

Martin Booth, Débora Andrade, Daniel Burke, Brian Patton, Mantas Zurauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


As one of the most powerful tools in the biological investigation of cellular structures and dynamic processes, fluorescence microscopy has undergone extraordinary developments in the past decades. The advent of super-resolution techniques has enabled fluorescence microscopy - or rather nanoscopy - to achieve nanoscale resolution in living specimens and unravelled the interior of cells with unprecedented detail. The methods employed in this expanding field of microscopy, however, are especially prone to the detrimental effects of optical aberrations. In this review, we discuss how super-resolution microscopy techniques based upon single-molecule switching, stimulated emission depletion and structured illumination each suffer from aberrations in different ways that are dependent upon intrinsic technical aspects. We discuss the use of adaptive optics as an effective means to overcome this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • aberrations
  • adaptive optics
  • single-molecule switching
  • stimulated emission depletion
  • structured illumination
  • super-resolution microscopy


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