Roadmap on Label-Free Super-Resolution Imaging

Vasily N. Astratov*, Yair Ben Sahel, Yonina C. Eldar, Luzhe Huang, Aydogan Ozcan, Nikolay Zheludev, Junxiang Zhao, Zachary Burns, Zhaowei Liu, Evgenii Narimanov, Neha Goswami, Gabriel Popescu, Emanuel Pfitzner, Philipp Kukura, Yi Teng Hsiao, Chia Lung Hsieh, Brian Abbey, Alberto Diaspro, Aymeric LeGratiet, Paolo BianchiniNatan T. Shaked, Bertrand Simon, Nicolas Verrier, Matthieu Debailleul, Olivier Haeberlé, Sheng Wang, Mengkun Liu, Yeran Bai, Ji Xin Cheng, Behjat S. Kariman, Katsumasa Fujita, Moshe Sinvani, Zeev Zalevsky, Xiangping Li, Guan Jie Huang, Shi Wei Chu, Omer Tzang, Dror Hershkovitz, Ori Cheshnovsky, Mikko J. Huttunen, Stefan G. Stanciu, Vera N. Smolyaninova, Igor I. Smolyaninov, Ulf Leonhardt, Sahar Sahebdivan, Zengbo Wang, Boris Luk'yanchuk, Limin Wu, Alexey V. Maslov, Boya Jin, Constantin R. Simovski, Stephane Perrin, Paul Montgomery, Sylvain Lecler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Label-free super-resolution (LFSR) imaging relies on light-scattering processes in nanoscale objects without a need for fluorescent (FL) staining required in super-resolved FL microscopy. The objectives of this Roadmap are to present a comprehensive vision of the developments, the state-of-the-art in this field, and to discuss the resolution boundaries and hurdles that need to be overcome to break the classical diffraction limit of the label-free imaging. The scope of this Roadmap spans from the advanced interference detection techniques, where the diffraction-limited lateral resolution is combined with unsurpassed axial and temporal resolution, to techniques with true lateral super-resolution capability that are based on understanding resolution as an information science problem, on using novel structured illumination, near-field scanning, and nonlinear optics approaches, and on designing superlenses based on nanoplasmonics, metamaterials, transformation optics, and microsphere-assisted approaches. To this end, this Roadmap brings under the same umbrella researchers from the physics and biomedical optics communities in which such studies have often been developing separately. The ultimate intent of this paper is to create a vision for the current and future developments of LFSR imaging based on its physical mechanisms and to create a great opening for the series of articles in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200029
JournalLaser and Photonics Reviews
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


FundersFunder number
Brain Research Center of NTHU
Center for Advanced Computing and Imaging in Biomedicine of NTUNTU‐112L900703
Center for Metamaterials
Guangdong Provincial Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project2016ZT06D081
MEDYCONAI25 ⁄ 2021
Ministry of Education in Taiwan
Special Program of “BASIS” Foundation21‐2‐10‐39‐1
U CRC1068050
National Science Foundation1450962, 0939511, 1353368
National Institutes of HealthR01AI141439, MOST‐112‐2321‐B‐002‐025, R01GM129709, MOST‐112‐2112‐M‐002‐032‐MY3, R01CA238191, R35GM136223
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
California Department of Fish and Game
North Carolina Biotechnology Center
Iowa Science Foundation1294/18
Engineering Research CentersPHOTOMASS 819593
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilEP/T03419X/1, EP/M009122/1, EP/N00762X/1
Leverhulme TrustRF‐2022‐659
Royal SocietyIEC\R2\202178
Australian Research CouncilCE140100011
Ministry of Education - SingaporeMOE2016‐T3‐1‐006
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftPF991/1‐1
National Natural Science Foundation of China52033003, 51721002
Academia SinicaAS‐CDA‐107‐M06
Academy of Finland320165
Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation075‐15‐2022‐293
Bangor UniversityS49610
Ministry of Science and Technology110‐2321‐B‐002‐012, 108‐2112‐M‐001‐038‐MY3
Unitatea Executiva pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior, a Cercetarii, Dezvoltarii si InovariiRO‐NO‐2019‐0601
Russian Science Foundation20‐12‐00389
National Key Research and Development Program of China2018YFB1107200, 2017YFA0204600
Lomonosov Moscow State University


    • biomedical imaging
    • diffraction limit
    • label-free imaging
    • near-field imaging
    • optical microscopy
    • structured illumination
    • super-resolution


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