Isotropic imaging across spatial scales with axially swept light-sheet microscopy

Kevin M. Dean, Tonmoy Chakraborty, Stephan Daetwyler, Jinlong Lin, Gerard Garrelts, Ons M’Saad, Hannahmariam T. Mekbib, Fabian F. Voigt, Martina Schaettin, Esther T. Stoeckli, Fritjof Helmchen, Joerg Bewersdorf, Reto Fiolka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy is a rapidly growing technique that has gained tremendous popularity in the life sciences owing to its high-spatiotemporal resolution and gentle, non-phototoxic illumination. In this protocol, we provide detailed directions for the assembly and operation of a versatile light-sheet fluorescence microscopy variant, referred to as axially swept light-sheet microscopy (ASLM), that delivers an unparalleled combination of field of view, optical resolution and optical sectioning. To democratize ASLM, we provide an overview of its working principle and applications to biological imaging, as well as pragmatic tips for the assembly, alignment and control of its optical systems. Furthermore, we provide detailed part lists and schematics for several variants of ASLM that together can resolve molecular detail in chemically expanded samples, subcellular organization in living cells or the anatomical composition of chemically cleared intact organisms. We also provide software for instrument control and discuss how users can tune imaging parameters to accommodate diverse sample types. Thus, this protocol will serve not only as a guide for both introductory and advanced users adopting ASLM, but as a useful resource for any individual interested in deploying custom imaging technology. We expect that building an ASLM will take ~1–2 months, depending on the experience of the instrument builder and the version of the instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2025-2053
Number of pages29
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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