3i Lattice Light-sheet Microscope

This instrument is available by appointment only and operated only by the Microscope Facility staff (not for self-use).

Model Information & Grant Information

  • 3i Lattice Light-sheet Microscope, v2
  • Cite in your manuscripts (example text): NIH Grant S10OD018118
    (Institute:Office of the Director [OD], Office of Research Infrastructure Programs [ORIP])
    Installed: Feb 11, 2016; v2 upgrade installed Apr 4, 2019


Invented by Nobel-laureate Eric Betzig, this microscope is uniquely suited for high-resolution 3D imaging by reducing light-induced damage to an astounding minimum. Unlike traditional microscopes that irradiate nearly the whole sample just to capture a thin slice of information, the LLSM uses a lattice-pattern of unique pencil-like beams, thus limiting the volume of irradiation to the slice being imaged (Chen et al 2014 Science 346, 1257998). From an innovative combination of new tools in physics, the beams are thinner and longer than any other microscope. The strategy is so efficient that continuous fluorescence movies of developing organisms have no detectable phototoxic effect, even on their offspring. Furthermore, the spacing of the lattice-pattern is adjustable and can be exploited to provide super-resolution images, trading speed for improved resolution in all dimensions, thus exceeding confocal microscopy. Indeed, Dr. Betzig claims that the LLSM is better than the microscope technique that won him the Nobel prize.

Licensed by Intelligent Imaging Innovations (3i), originally delivered a beta-version in a unique collaboration with the Microscope Facility. Recently, we were upgraded to full version 2 that is more stable and easier to use than the original Betzig ‘clone’.


  • Sample must be mounted on 5mm coverslips
  • Only staff-assisted usage (not for self-use)


  • High-speed, high-resolution 3D imaging (<0.3s/z-stack)
  • Deep 4-color 3D-imaging
  • Minimal phototoxicity