Open hardware in microscopy

Johannes Hohlbein*, Sanli Faez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademic


The field of microscopy has been empowering humankind for many centuries by enabling the observation of objects that are otherwise too small to detect for the naked human eye. Microscopy techniques can be loosely divided into three main branches, namely photon-based optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and scanning probe microscopy with optical microscopy being the most prominent one. On the high-end level, optical microscopy nowadays enables nanometer resolution covering many scientific disciplines ranging from material sciences over the natural sciences and life sciences to the food sciences. On the lower-end level, simplified hardware and openly available description and blueprints have helped to make powerful microscopes widely available to interested scientists and researchers. For this special issue, we invited contributions from the community to share their latest ideas, designs, and research results on open-source hardware in microscopy. With this collection of articles, we hope to inspire the community to further increase the accessibility, interoperability, and reproducibility of microscopy. We further touch on the standardization of methodologies and devices including the use of computerized control of data acquisition and data analysis to achieve high quality and efficiency in research and development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00473
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Open hardware
  • Open microscopy
  • Open science
  • Open source


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