1While AFM allows us to image the outside of living cells with nanometer resolution, optical microscopy gives us access to the inside. However, the resolution of conventional optical microscopes is limited by light diffraction to about 200nm. Several fluorescence microscopy techniques have been recently developed to overcome this limit: PALM, STORM, STED, SIM,… Among them, SIM (structured illumination microscopy) is one of the most suited for live cell imaging.
The openSIM is an add-on designed at LBNI to upgrade conventional microscopes for superresolution imaging. The openSIM has been designed specifically so that it can be 3D printed and built easily by most researchers using a set of instructions. We are currently collaborating with other labs at EPFL to duplicate the openSIM so they can use it for their own research. In the future, the goal is to reach hundreds of labs worldwide and build a vibrant open-hardware community.