Light-sheet microscopy with attenuation-compensated propagation-invariant beams

Jonathan Nylk, Kaley McCluskey, Miguel A. Preciado, Michael Mazilu, Zhengyi Yang, Frank J. Gunn-Moore, Sanya Aggarwal, Javier A. Tello, David E.K. Ferrier, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Scattering and absorption limit the penetration of optical fields into tissue. We demonstrate a new approach for increased depth penetration in light-sheet microscopy: attenuation-compensation of the light field. This tailors an exponential intensity increase along the illuminating propagation-invariant field, enabling the redistribution of intensity strategically within a sample to maximize signal and minimize irradiation. A key attribute of this method is that only minimal knowledge of the specimen transmission properties is required. We numerically quantify the imaging capabilities of attenuation-compensated Airy and Bessel light sheets, showing that increased depth penetration is gained without compromising any other beam attributes. This powerful yet straightforward concept, combined with the self-healing properties of the propagation-invariant field, improves the contrast-to-noise ratio of light-sheet microscopy up to eightfold across the entire field of view in thick biological specimens. This improvement can significantly increase the imaging capabilities of light-sheet microscopy techniques using Airy, Bessel, and other propagation-invariant beam types, paving the way for widespread uptake by the biomedical community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaar4817
JournalScience Advances
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 6

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for funding through grants (EP/P030017/1, EP/R004854/1, and EP/J01771X/1). J.A.T. acknowledges funding from the British Society for Neuroendocrinology Project Support Grant, as well as the RS MacDonald Trust. D.E.K.F. acknowledges funding from the Leverhulme Trust.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 The Authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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