Light-sheet microscopy using an Airy beam

Tom Vettenburg, Heather I. C. Dalgarno, Jonathan Nylk, Clara Coll-Lladó, David E. K. Ferrier, Tomáš Čižmár, Frank J. Gunn-Moore, and Kishan Dholakia

Nature Methods 11, p. 541-544 (2014)

doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2922

Light-sheet microscopy facilitates rapid, high-contrast, volumetric imaging with minimal sample exposure. However, the rapid divergence of a traditional Gaussian light sheet restricts the field of view (FOV) that provides innate subcellular resolution. We show that the Airy beam innately yields high contrast and resolution up to a tenfold larger FOV. In contrast to the Bessel beam, which also provides an increased FOV, the Airy beam’s characteristic asymmetric excitation pattern results in all fluorescence contributing positively to the contrast, enabling a step change for light-sheet microscopy.