Light-sheet microscopy with attenuation-compensated propagation-invariant beams

Jonathan Nylk, Kaley McCluskey, Miguel A. Preciado, Michael Mazilu, Zhengyi Yang, Frank J. Gunn-Moore, Sanya Aggarwal, Javier A. Tello, David E.K. Ferrier, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Scattering and absorption limit the penetration of optical fields into tissue. We demonstrate a new approach for increased depth penetration in light-sheet microscopy: attenuation-compensation of the light field. This tailors an exponential intensity increase along the illuminating propagation-invariant field, enabling the redistribution of intensity strategically within a sample to maximize signal and minimize irradiation. A key attribute of this method is that only minimal knowledge of the specimen transmission properties is required. We numerically quantify the imaging capabilities of attenuation-compensated Airy and Bessel light sheets, showing that increased depth penetration is gained without compromising any other beam attributes. This powerful yet straightforward concept, combined with the self-healing properties of the propagation-invariant field, improves the contrast-to-noise ratio of light-sheet microscopy up to eightfold across the entire field of view in thick biological specimens. This improvement can significantly increase the imaging capabilities of light-sheet microscopy techniques using Airy, Bessel, and other propagation-invariant beam types, paving the way for widespread uptake by the biomedical community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaar4817
JournalScience Advances
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 6

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for funding through grants (EP/P030017/1, EP/R004854/1, and EP/J01771X/1). J.A.T. acknowledges funding from the British Society for Neuroendocrinology Project Support Grant, as well as the RS MacDonald Trust. D.E.K.F. acknowledges funding from the Leverhulme Trust.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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