MANNHEIM/WETZLAR, GERMANY--The introduction of the Leica TCS SP8 STED 3X in 2014 marks Leica Microsystems’ 10th anniversary of leading innovations in super-resolution technology.

“Leica Microsystems was by far the first company to take the breakthrough of the diffraction limit in light microscopy and implement this in products,” says Professor Stefan W. Hell, director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany, and the father of super-resolution technology.

In 2004, Leica Microsystems revolutionized light microscopy with the introduction of the first commercial super-resolution microscope, Leica TCS 4PI. Super-resolution technology enables researchers to image structures in a range down to the molecular level. During the last 10 years, Leica Microsystems has continuously developed its super-resolution portfolio and today offers both confocal and widefield super-resolution technologies: STED (STimulated Emission Depletion) and GSDIM/dSTORM (Ground State Depletion followed by Individual Molecule return/direct Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy).

Leica Microsystems developed its super-resolution microscopes in close cooperation with Hell, who was awarded Deutscher Zukunftspreis (German Future Prize) in 2006 for the invention of STED nanoscopy.. Leading scientists in the field believe super-resolution will be standard in the near future.

“Within a couple of years, the super-resolution method will be the must for all cell biologists”, explains Dr. Yasushi Okada from the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center, in Osaka, Japan, a user of a STED microscope from Leica Microsystems.

With the establishment of the European Super-Resolution User Club, Leica Microsystems annually provides an open and informative platform and room for exchanging experiences for STED and GSD users on all aspects of super-resolution.