Seeing beyond the limit: a guide to choosing the right super resolution microscopy technique

Jessica Valli, Adrian Garcia-Burgos, Liam M. Rooney, Beatriz Vale de Melo E Oliveira, Rory R. Duncan, Colin Rickman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


Super-resolution microscopy has become an increasingly popular and robust tool across the life sciences to study minute cellular structures and processes. However, with the increasing number of available super-resolution techniques has come an increased complexity and burden of choice in planning imaging experiments. Choosing the right super-resolution technique to answer a given biological question is vital for understanding and interpreting biological relevance. This is an often-neglected and complex task that should take into account well-defined criteria (e.g., sample type, structure size, imaging requirements). Trade-offs in different imaging capabilities are inevitable; thus, many researchers still find it challenging to select the most suitable technique that will best answer their biological question. This review aims to provide an overview and clarify the concepts underlying the most commonly available super-resolution techniques as well as guide researchers through all aspects that should be considered before opting for a given technique.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100791
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
Early online date17 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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