Practical considerations for quantitative light sheet fluorescence microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy has evolved from a purely observational tool to a platform for quantitative, hypothesis-driven research. As such, the demand for faster and less phototoxic imaging modalities has spurred a rapid growth in light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM). By restricting the excitation to a thin plane, LSFM reduces the overall light dose to a specimen while simultaneously improving image contrast. However, the defining characteristics of light sheet microscopes subsequently warrant unique considerations in their use for quantitative experiments. In this Perspective, we outline many of the pitfalls in LSFM that can compromise analysis and confound interpretation. Moreover, we offer guidance in addressing these caveats when possible. In doing so, we hope to provide a useful resource for life scientists seeking to adopt LSFM to quantitatively address complex biological hypotheses.

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