Viewing life without labels under optical microscopes
Optical microscopes today have pushed the limits of speed, quality, and observable space in biological specimens revolutionizing how we view life today. Further, specific labeling of samples for imaging has provided insight into how life functions. This enabled label-based microscopy to percolate and integrate into mainstream life science research. However, the use of labelfree microscopy has been mostly limited, resulting in testing for bio-application but not bio-integration. To enable bio-integration, such microscopes need to be evaluated for their timeliness to answer biological questions uniquely and establish a long-term growth prospect. The article presents key label-free optical microscopes and discusses their integrative potential in life science research for the unperturbed analysis of biological samples.