We developed a compact stimulated emission depletion (STED) two-photon excitation microscopy that utilized electrically controllable components. Transmissive liquid crystal devices inserted directly in front of the objective lens converted the STED light into an optical vortex while leaving the excitation light unaffected. Light pulses of two different colors, 1.06 and 0.64 μm, were generated by laser diode-based light sources, and the delay between the two pulses was flexibly controlled so as to maximize the fluorescence suppression ratio. In our experiments, the spatial resolution of this system was up to three times higher than that obtained without STED light irradiation, and we successfully visualize the fine microtubule network structures in fixed mammalian cells without causing significant photo-damage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics