Leiden Measurement Technology (LMT) proposes to design and construct the Microscope Using Super-resolution for Exploration (MUSE), a compact luminescence microscope operating from the deep ultraviolet through visible (DUV-VIS) using structured illumination microscopy (SIM) techniques to achieve super-resolution imaging. MUSE will be the first-of-its-kind DUV-VIS SIM fluorescence microscope based on the ICEE-2-funded Europa Luminescence Microscope (ELM) microscope. It will retain ELM’s ability to excite fluorescence at four different wavelengths, including the deep ultraviolet (DUV), enabling imaging of both native and stain-induced fluorescence. Further, MUSE will maintain a small form factor (95 mm x 95 mm cross-section) making it suitable for deployment on Ocean World Missions, including the Europa Lander, as well as future plume sampling missions where it will be a powerful tool for life-detection.
MUSE uses LEDs to illuminate a sample with up to four excitation wavelengths: 265nm, 370nm, 470nm, and 530nm allowing it to excite autofluorescence in samples (e.g., proteins, metabolites, minerals) as well as work with a variety of common molecular probes that could identify key biomarkers (e.g., fatty acids, phospholipid bilayers, membrane proteins, RNA/DNA).
Structured illumination microscopy is a well-established method of increasing the resolution of an optical system by up to a factor of two. MUSE will employ this technique for the first time in the DUV to make a very powerful fluorescence microscope capable of imaging structures with resolution better than 0.2µm, making it ideal for detecting and studying small cells or cell fragments.
MUSE will be ideal for an Ocean Worlds mission. It meets the Europa Lander Science Definition Team requirements for the measurement of cells and other microstructures (down to 0.2µm) for their compositional and/or native autofluorescence properties. Indeed, MUSE is uniquely designed to excite autofluorescence in the DUV, work with multiple molecular probes indicative of structural composition, and, by using structured illumination microscopy, do it all with better than 0.2µm resolution.
DUV transmission and fluorescence spectroscopy is a powerful tool for life science and medical research, particularly in the fields of histology and cell biology. Similarly, automated inspection of wafers and other sensitive devices could be greatly enhanced with DUV super-resolution microscopy