Selective plane illumination microscopy techniques in developmental biology

Development. 2009 Jun;136(12):1963-75. doi: 10.1242/dev.022426.


Selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) and other fluorescence microscopy techniques in which a focused sheet of light serves to illuminate the sample have become increasingly popular in developmental studies. Fluorescence light-sheet microscopy bridges the gap in image quality between fluorescence stereomicroscopy and high-resolution imaging of fixed tissue sections. In addition, high depth penetration, low bleaching and high acquisition speeds make light-sheet microscopy ideally suited for extended time-lapse experiments in live embryos. This review compares the benefits and challenges of light-sheet microscopy with established fluorescence microscopy techniques such as confocal microscopy and discusses the different implementations and applications of this easily adaptable technology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Developmental Biology / instrumentation
  • Developmental Biology / methods*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / ultrastructure
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / ultrastructure
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Microscopy, Confocal / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Zebrafish / embryology