Between life and death: Strategies to reduce phototoxicity in super-resolution microscopy

Kalina L. Tosheva, Yue Yuan, Pedro Matos Pereira, Si n. Culley, Ricardo Henriques

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Super-resolution microscopy (SRM) enables non-invasive, molecule-specific imaging of the internal structure and dynamics of cells with sub-diffraction limit spatial resolution. One of its major limitations is the requirement for high-intensity illumination, generating considerable cellular phototoxicity. This factor considerably limits the capacity for live-cell observations, particularly for extended periods of time. Here, we give an overview of new developments in hardware, software and probe chemistry aiming to reduce phototoxicity. Additionally, we discuss how the choice of biological model and sample environment impacts the capacity for live-cell observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163001
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


  • Fluorescence
  • Photodamage
  • Phototoxicity
  • Super-resolution microscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Between life and death: Strategies to reduce phototoxicity in super-resolution microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this