4Pi & STED Superresolution Microscopy
4Pi and STED Superresolution Microscopy: More than 130 years ago, Ernst Abbe set up the law that far-field optical microscopes are limited in resolution to approximately half of the wavelength of light. Today, these limits have been broken by two new concepts of microscopy: 4Pi and STED (Stimulated Emission Depletion) microscopy. Both techniques are revolutionizing the biomedical research environment, by providing resolution beyond what is possible with best light microscopes today, while maintaining all advantages of structure-specific fluorescence tagging. The principles have been invented by Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany, and are commercialized by Leica Microsystems CMS. While the Leica TCS 4Pi is already available, the Leica TCS STED system will be introduced to the market in 2007.