Taking advantage of high contrast and molecular specificity, fluorescence microscopy has played a critical role in the visualization of subcellular structures and function, enabling unprecedented exploration from cell biology to neuroscience in living animals. To record and quantitatively analyse complex and dynamic biological processes in real time, fluorescence microscopes must be capable of rapid, targeted access deep within samples at high spatial resolutions, using techniques including super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, light sheet fluorescence microscopy, and multiple photon microscopy. In recent years, tremendous breakthroughs have improved the performance of these fluorescence microscopies in spatial resolution, imaging speed, and penetration. Here, we will review recent advancements of these microscopies in terms of the trade-off among spatial resolution, sampling speed and penetration depth and provide a view of their possible applications.

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