Endo-microscopy beyond the Abbe and Nyquist limits

Lyubov V. Amitonova*, Johannes F. de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


For several centuries, far-field optical microscopy has remained a key instrument in many scientific disciplines, including physical, chemical, and biomedical research. Nonetheless, far-field imaging has many limitations: the spatial resolution is controlled by the diffraction of light, and the imaging speed follows the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem. The recent development of super-resolution techniques has pushed the limits of spatial resolution. However, these methods typically require complicated setups and long acquisition times and are still not applicable to deep-tissue bioimaging. Here, we report imaging through an ultra-thin fibre probe with a spatial resolution beyond the Abbe limit and a temporal resolution beyond the Nyquist limit simultaneously in a simple and compact setup. We use the random nature of mode coupling in a multimode fibre, the sparsity constraint and compressive sensing reconstruction. The new approach of super-resolution endo-microscopy does not use any specific properties of the fluorescent label, such as depletion or stochastic activation of the molecular fluorescent state, and therefore can be used for label-free imaging. We demonstrate a spatial resolution more than 2 times better than the diffraction limit and an imaging speed 20 times faster than the Nyquist limit. The proposed approach can significantly expand the realm of the application of nanoscopy for bioimaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalLight: Science and Applications
Issue number1
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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