Illumination Advancing Fluorescence Microscopy in Life Sciences, Medical Realms
LEDs, known for their long lifetimes, provide versatility to bring fluorescence techniques into specialties such as in situ hybridization, digital pathology, and surgical guidance
In many academic research and medical settings, microscopy and imaging have transitioned from using traditional lamp illumination, such as mercury and Xenon lamphouses, to solid-state LED technologies. The benefits of moving to LEDs include long lifetimes and increased stability of the light source, eliminating the need to replace or dispose of toxic bulb waste.
In contrast, the integration of LEDs into fluorescence microscopy has been an uphill battle for system designers. This is largely due to the fact that when LED sources first became available in the microscopy world, they had low optical power and a limited range of wavelengths, preventing early adoption for detailed sample research.
Today, almost two decades later, advancements in the semiconductor industry have enhanced LEDs, allowing them to replace lamps used in microscopy and fluorescence imaging to bring fluorescence techniques into specialties such as in situ hybridization, digital pathology and surgical guidance. These innovations have, in turn, significantly contributed to advancements in research as well as clinical applications of LEDs and fluorescence microscopy.
Read our article by Excelitas Senior Biomedical Applications Scientist Kavita Aswani in the September/October 2023 issue of BioPhotonics for an overview of the opportunities LEDs present to microscopy illumination in the life sciences and other arenas. The article provides discussion of applications, including fluorescence in situ hybridization, Fura-2 calcium ratiometric imaging, Near-IR fluorescence imaging, spinning disk microscopy, and endoscopy, which are increasingly leveraging LED advancements to gain new insights into complex biological processes – advancing the understanding of health and disease, and ultimately leading to improved medical treatments and diagnostics.