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This article reviews the theory and application of key optical microscopy techniques used in basic research and clinical medicine. Optical sectioning methodologies, such as confocal microscopy and image deconvolution, are discussed, as are fluorescent microscopy and the use of organelle-specific probes, fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques and ion specific probes. The article begins with a review of brightfield, darkfield, phase contrast, interference reflection, polarization and differential interference contrast microscopy.
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