Slicing embryos gently with laser light sheets

Bioessays. 2012 May;34(5):406-11. doi: 10.1002/bies.201100120. Epub 2012 Mar 6.


Light sheet microscopy is an easy to implement and extremely powerful alternative to established fluorescence imaging techniques such as laser scanning confocal, multi-photon and spinning disk microscopy. By illuminating the sample only with a thin slice of light, photo-bleaching is reduced to a minimum, making light sheet microscopy ideal for non-destructive imaging of fragile samples over extended periods of time. Millimeter-sized samples can be imaged rapidly with high resolution and high depth penetration. A large variety of instruments have been developed and optimized for a number of different samples: Bessel beams form thin light sheets for single cells, and selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) offers multi-view acquisition to image entire embryos with isotropic resolution. This review explains how light sheet microscopy involves a conceptually new microscope design and how it changes modern imaging in biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Lasers*
  • Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Zebrafish / embryology*