What is it about?

The optical microscope is the tool of choice in many scientific domains, especially cell biology, but also in material science, petrography, forensic science… The achievement of fluorescence optical nanoscopy has been a revolution in the domain, awarded by the Nobel Price in 2014. But for conventional transmission microscopy, resolution remains limited, contrast is often weak, and intensity-only images are recorded, which render difficult quantitative measurements of the observed specimen’s optical properties.

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Why is it important?

Development of diffractive tomography opens new perspectives for observation of unlabelled samples. In particular, this approach delivers quantitative information about the observed sample, and with higher resolution than conventional microscopes. The quantitative optical refractive index becomes the contrast. Not being limited to (often weak) fluorescence, tomographic imaging can also be very fast.


Tomographic microscopy opens the way towards a purely numerical, all-in-one universal optical transmission microscope, by computing various imaging contrasts directly from the tomographic data. This should facilitate adoption of this promising technique. Furthermore, such computational microscopy techniques could indeed help to re-attract "digital natives" to science, by highlighting the intimate link existing in modern instrumentation between fundamental sciences (optics, physics) and engineering sciences (electronics, computer science, sensors etc...).

Ph. D. Nicolas Verrier
Universite de Haute-Alsace

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Multimodal image reconstruction from tomographic diffraction microscopy data, Journal of Microscopy, July 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/jmi.13131.
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