The editors introduce the feature issue on “Novel Techniques in Microscopy”, which was the topic of a symposium held on April 14–18, 2013, in Waikoloa Beach, HI. This symposium was part of the Optics in the Life Sciences Congress.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
The optical microscope has matured into a device that readily generates visuals of specimens with sub-micrometer resolution in just a fraction of a second; length and time scales that are of direct relevance to cell and tissue biology. Combined with the rich palette of optically addressable labels, these capabilities have consolidated a central role for the optical microscope in biological research. Indeed, the impact of the conventional optical microscope in the biological sciences cannot be underestimated. Yet, as biological questions become more refined, the need for improving the imaging capabilities of the microscope grows accordingly. Among these needs are faster image acquisition, a broader portfolio of contrast mechanisms, methods for quantitative probing, understanding and reducing the deleterious effect of light scattering in tissues, and means to achieve higher spatial resolution. Activities in these areas are impressive, which have produced many breakthrough advances in the last few years alone, exemplifying the continued dynamism in the field of optical microscopy.
The Novel Techniques in Microscopy (NTM) symposium, one of four symposia of the Optics in the Life Sciences Congress that was held on April 14–18, 2013, in Waikoloa Beach, HI, aimed to capture some of the most exciting technical advances in the field of biological optical microscopy . Among other topics, the symposium touched on new approaches to achieve super-resolution, novel forms of nonlinear imaging contrast, advances in interferometric and phase sensitive microscopy, the latest methods in tomographic imaging, and techniques to mitigate or leverage light scattering in turbid media.
This feature issue is a compilation of papers by selected authors who presented their work at the NTM symposium and others active in the area of technique development. In this feature, new methods in nonlinear optical imaging are discussed [2–5], including approaches for deeper imaging  and interferometric nonlinear optical techniques to retrieve information about molecular orientation . Exciting new developments in linear interferometric techniques are also highlighted [6–9], among which clever implementations of spatial light modulators for achieving better contrast [8,9]. In addition, this issue illuminates light scattering in turbid media  and the use of scattering to generate high quality images from cells . Novel devices that enable efficient imaging in scattering tissues are discussed as well [12–15], including new implementations of optical coherence tomography systems [14,15]. Together, these papers paint a vivid picture of emerging technologies and promising developments in optical microscopy.
References and links
1. Novel Techniques in Microscopy,” http://www.osa.org/en-us/meetings/osa meeting archives/2013/novel techniques in microscopy/
2. K. Isobe, H. Kawano, A. Kumagai, A. Miyawaki, and K. Midorikawa, “Implementation of spatial overlap modu- lation nonlinear optical microscopy using an electro-optic deflector,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(10), 1937–1945 (2013). [CrossRef]
3. S. P. Chong, T. Lai, Y. Zhou, and S. Tang, “Tri-modal microscopy with multiphoton and optical coherence microscopy/tomography for multi-scale and multi-contrast imaging,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(9), 1584–1594 (2013). [CrossRef]
4. M. Rivard, C. A. Couture, A. K. Miri, M. Laliberté, A. Bertrand-Grenier, L. Mongeau, and F. Légare, “Imaging the bipolarity of myosin filaments with Interferometric Second Harmonic Generation microscopy,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(10), 2078–2086(2013).
5. K. Isobe, H. Kawano, A. Suda, A. Kumagai, A. Miyawaki, and K. Midorikawa, “Simultaneous imaging of two- photon absorption and stimulated Raman scattering by spatial overlap modulation nonlinear optical microscopy,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(9), 1548–1558 (2013). [CrossRef]
6. B. Bhaduri, K. Tangella, and G. Popescu, “Fourier phase microscopy with white light,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(8), 1434–1441 (2013). [CrossRef]
7. S. K. Yarmoska, S. Kim, T. E. Matthews, and A. Wax, “A scattering phantom for observing long range order with two-dimensional angle-resolved low-coherence Interferometry,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(9), 1742–1748 (2013). [CrossRef]
8. T. H. Nguyen and G. Popescu, “Spatial Light Interference Microscopy (SLIM) using twisted-nematic liquid- crystal modulation,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(9), 1571–1583 (2013). [CrossRef]
9. S. Chowdhury and J. Izatt, “Structured illumination quantitative phase microscopy for enhanced resolution am- plitude and phase imaging,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(10), 1795–1805 (2013). [CrossRef]
10. H. Yilmaz, W. L. Vos, and A. P. Mosk, “Optimal control of light propagation through multiple-scattering media in the presence of noise,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(9), 1759–1768 (2013). [CrossRef]
11. C. Leahy, H. Radhakrishnan, and V. J. Srinivasan, “Volumetric imaging and quantification of cytoarchitecture and myeloarchitecture with intrinsic scattering contrast,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(10), 1978–1990 (2013). [CrossRef]
12. M. H. Koucky and M. C. Pierce, “Depth discrimination of high-resolution microendoscopy in scattering media,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(10), 2247–2256.
13. A. Pinhas, M. Dubow, N. Shah, T. Y. Chui, D. Scoles, Y. N. Sulai, R. Weitz, J. B. Walsh, J. Carroll, A. Dubra, and R. B. Rosen, “In vivo imaging of human retinal microvasculature using adaptive optics scanning light oph- thalmoscope fluorescein angiography,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(8), 1305–1317 (2013). [CrossRef]
14. A. Nahas, M. Bauer, S. Roux, and A. C. Boccara, “3D static elastography at the micrometer scale using full field OCT,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(10), 2138–2149(2013).
15. K. Mehta, P. Zhang, E. L. L. Yeo, J. C. Y. Kah, and N. Chen, “Dark-field circular depolarization optical coherence microscopy,” Biomed. Opt. Express 4(9), 1683–1691 (2013). [CrossRef]