Ernst Abbe calculated the resolution limit for microscopes more than 100 years ago. According to this, it was impossible to image structures smaller than 200 nanometers using a light microscope. Developers at Carl Zeiss have now succeeded in circumventing this resolution limit and displaying even smaller elements of a cell. This enables research and understanding of widely spread diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The new microscope system merges two technologies to achieve resolution of down to 20 nanometers. Until now, this was the domain of electron microscopes. However, unlike electron microscope, these new technologies allow the observation of living cells without harming them. With this super resolution, scientists are even able to recognize the behavior of single molecules in dynamic processes.
The theory of microscopes originated with the same company that now creates high-end research microscopes. Scientist Ernst Abbe, whose achievements brought Carl Zeiss global renown, published the theory of microscopic imaging in 1873. His theory laid the foundation for modern optics.
December 2, 2009