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Find out more about the Wellcome Image Awards as well as Wellcome Images, the image library behind the Awards.

Super-resolution microscopy

In its simplest form, light microscopy uses light to illuminate an object and a lens to magnify it. Depending on the type of microscopy and the purpose, different light sources can be used. These include natural light, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), metal halide sources, lasers, and tungsten, halogen, mercury and xenon lamps.

Physical properties of light limit the resolution of images that standard light microscopy can achieve. However, new types of light microscopy are now able to overcome these limits and produce images with higher resolution. These fall under the umbrella term super-resolution microscopy.

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2017 Wellcome Image Award winner: Unravelled DNA in a human lung cell
Credit: Ezequiel Miron, University of Oxford

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2016 Wellcome Image Award winner: Toxoplasmosis-causing parasites
Credit: Leandro Lemgruber, University of Glasgow