Stefan W Hell

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The molecular organization of presynaptic active zones during calcium influx-triggered neurotransmitter release is the focus of intense investigation. The Drosophila coiled-coil domain protein Bruchpilot (BRP) was observed in donut-shaped structures centered at active zones of neuromuscular synapses by using subdiffraction resolution STED (stimulated(More)
We propose a new type of scanning fluorescence microscope capable of resolving 35 nm in the far field. We overcome the diffraction resolution limit by employing stimulated emission to inhibit the fluorescence process in the outer regions of the excitation point-spread function. In contrast to near-field scanning optical microscopy, this method can produce(More)
In 1873, Ernst Abbe discovered what was to become a well-known paradigm: the inability of a lens-based optical microscope to discern details that are closer together than half of the wavelength of light. However, for its most popular imaging mode, fluorescence microscopy, the diffraction barrier is crumbling. Here, I discuss the physical concepts that have(More)
We present video-rate (28 frames per second) far-field optical imaging with a focal spot size of 62 nanometers in living cells. Fluorescently labeled synaptic vesicles inside the axons of cultured neurons were recorded with stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy in a 2.5-micrometer by 1.8-micrometer field of view. By reducing the cross-sectional(More)
Cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) transmit acoustic information to spiral ganglion neurons through ribbon synapses. Here we have used morphological and physiological techniques to ask whether synaptic mechanisms differ along the tonotopic axis and within IHCs in the mouse cochlea. We show that the number of ribbon synapses per IHC peaks where the cochlea is(More)
We introduce far-field fluorescence nanoscopy with ordinary fluorophores based on switching the majority of them to a metastable dark state, such as the triplet, and calculating the position of those left or those that spontaneously returned to the ground state. Continuous widefield illumination by a single laser and a continuously operating camera yielded(More)
For more than a century, the resolution of focusing light microscopy has been limited by diffraction to 180 nm in the focal plane and to 500 nm along the optic axis. Recently, microscopes have been reported that provide three- to sevenfold improved axial resolution in live cells. Moreover, a family of concepts has emerged that overcomes the diffraction(More)
A complete portrait of a cell requires a detailed description of its molecular topography: proteins must be linked to particular organelles. Immunocytochemical electron microscopy can reveal locations of proteins with nanometer resolution but is limited by the quality of fixation, the paucity of antibodies and the inaccessibility of antigens. Here we(More)
The use of high numerical aperture immersion lenses in optical microscopy is compromised by spherical aberrations induced by the refractive index mismatch between the immersion system and the embedding medium of the sample. Especially when imaging >10 micro m deep into the specimen, the refractive index mismatch results in a noticeable loss of image(More)
The diffraction barrier responsible for a finite focal spot size and limited resolution in far-field fluorescence microscopy has been fundamentally broken. This is accomplished by quenching excited organic molecules at the rim of the focal spot through stimulated emission. Along the optic axis, the spot size was reduced by up to 6 times beyond the(More)