Adaptive Optics Microscopy

Your job is to discover the undiscovered without letting wavefront aberrations get in the way. Our job is to help you accomplish that with micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) deformable mirrors for adaptive optics microscopy. With the appropriate tools, you have more control over light sources; our grating modulators allow you to modulate those light sources.

See beyond the capability of your current microscopes

Experiments may require deep penetration into living tissue or intact animal specimens to further your research. Fortunately, the current microscopy market is strong with technological advancements, favorable funding and regulatory procedures to launch new instruments for R&D in microscopy. The rising focus on nanotechnology and regenerative medicine is also fueling market growth.

While there are many different options available, our experts can help you find the best and most cost-effective solution for your specific need. Whether you are taking on fast focus control in your laboratory or OEM imaging system, enabling an adaptive optics system in your STED nanoscope or exploring the limits of super-resolution microscopy, Boston Micromachines deformable mirrors are well suited for an array of adaptive optics for high resolution within microscopy applications. Scroll down to learn more about how our components have been used to push imaging to the next level.

Using specialized tools such as MEMS grating modulator technology gives you more control over light because this component allows you to extinguish the light with a high level of precision. Having the ability to simply change the frequency or actively enable pulse-picking in an instrument, the modulator allows researchers to customize their microscope to best suit what is being imaged. When researchers have the ability to actively control the beam, it is easier to ensure the utmost accuracy when collecting data.

How Adaptive Optics Improves Microscopy

Artificial intelligence (AI) in adaptive optics (AO)

Traditional methods of image-correction in biological tissue samples can inhibit how well aberrations are corrected. This is due to conventional sensorless adaptive optics (AO) methods relying on iterative mirror changes and image-quality metrics for correction. A research group at Purdue University has built a novel Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine for single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM). This new method of deep learning-driven adaptive optics (DL-AO) for SMLM enables direct inference of wavefront distortion and almost real-time compensation. This allows for control and optimization of the achievable image resolution for a tissue sample using SMLM.

Boston Micromachines MEMS deformable mirror in deep learning-driven adaptive optics for single-molecule localization microscopy

3D SMLM reconstruction of immunofluorescence-labeled Tom20 specimen imaged without/with DL-AO


Credit: Zhang, P., Ma, D., Huang, F. et al. Deep learning-driven adaptive optics for single-molecule localization microscopy. Nat Methods 20, 1748–1758 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-023-02029-0

MINFLUX nanometer-scale 3D imaging and microsecond-range tracking

MINFLUX Microscopy with Deformable Mirror Raw Data   MINFLUX Microscopy with Deformable Mirror Results

MINFLUX fluorescence imaging of labeled cellular ultrastructure down to 1 nm (standard deviation) in fluorophore precision.  The image on the left shows reconstructed raw data of Nup96-SNAP labeled with Alexa Fluor 647 which localizes in two eightfold-symmetric rings within the nuclear pore complex.  The image on the right is an image with single-molecule fluorescence events combined into aggregates of ~2100 photons.


Boston Micromachines deformable mirror in MINFLUX nanoscopy

MINFLUX fluorescence nanoscope with optical-feedback stabilization on an all-purpose microscope stand: sub-nanometer stability. This diagram shows the optical arrangement of the nanoscope, utilizing a Boston Micromachines MEMS based deformable mirror.


Credit:  Roman Schmidt, Tobias Weihs, Christian A. Wurm, Isabelle Jansen, Jasmin Rehman, Steffen J. Sahl & Stefan W. Hell, Abberior Instruments, MINFLUX nanometer-scale 3D imaging and microsecond-range tracking on a common fluorescence microscope. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2021) 12:1478 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21652-z

In Vivo Multiplexed Modulation AO Imaging

With the help of our Hex-TTP deformable mirror, an improved image using 3-photon adaptive optics microscopy is possible.

Whole Cell - 4Pi single marker switching nanoscopy with deformable mirrors

Endoplasmic Reticulum and Microtubules and Mitochondria


Nucleus and Primary Cilium

Two videos displaying the research capabilities of leveraging two deformable mirrors to enable this next-generation technique.

Iterative Multi-Photon Adaptive Compensation Technique (IMPACT)

In vivo fluorescence microscopy via iterative multi-photon adaptive compensation technique for adaptive optics microscopy
Lingjie Kong and Meng Cui (cuim@janelia.hhmi.org)


S1 cortex of Thy1-YFP (H line) mice at large depth (~656 µm under the dura).
Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 19700 Helix Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147, USA

Our products were built for adaptive optics microscopy and super resolution imaging

We have a wide array of solutions to meet your specific application needs. From our MEMS Grating Modulator for intensity modulation to our Deformable Mirror for phase control, customers trust our products for their demanding microscopy applications.

Looking for a customized wavefront shaping solution? Click on the products below to find out more. To learn more about a specific product, please contact our team.

Standard Deformable Mirrors

Ideal for a range of microscopy applications, our mirrors offer sophisticated aberration compensation in an easy-to-use package. Use it with our upgraded driver (X-Driver) to receive the fastest-in-class response time from your deformable mirror setup. Learn more on the Standard Deformable Mirrors page.

Read more >

MEMS Grating Modulator

Our Optical Modulator products are perfect for laser communication as well as intra- and extra-cavity intensity modulation. The modulator is an optical modulation component for speeds up to 200 kHz. Learn more on the MEMS Grating Modulator page.

Read more >

Hex Class Deformable Mirrors

The unique Hex mirror architecture has the ability to tip, tilt, and piston multiple segments for alternative wavefront control. Learn more on the Hex Class Mirrors page.

Read more >

Customizable Adaptive Optics Software

Adaptive Optics Software Development Kit (AOSDK).
Boston Micromachines’ customizable AOSDK gives you the ability to implement adaptive optics without the need for intense, low-level programming. Learn more on the AOSDK page.

Read more >
  • “Boston Micromachines has been an important part of the adaptive optics community for two decades and it has been a pleasure working with them on many occasions over the years. We have frequently turned to them as suppliers of choice for our various applications in adaptive microscopy and have always found them to be supportive and responsive at every stage of the process. We currently have BMC hardware in various systems and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

    Martin Booth, Professor of Engineering Science

    Dynamic Optics and Photonics Group, University of Oxford

  • "We have been using spatial light modulators (segmented deformable mirrors) from BMC for nearly a decade, and have always been very pleased with our partnership with BMC, who has always provided excellent technical advice and customer support. We develop wavefront shaping techniques to image in strongly scattering media such as biological tissue, and speed and number of actuators are key parameters for our application. BMC’s products have been providing unmatched performance on all of these metrics with their segmented mirrors, and we have been able to break several records and achieve unprecedented imaging performance thanks to their Kilo-DM hardware.”

    Sylvain Gigan, Directeur Adjoint (Deputy Director)

    Physics License department, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Sorbonne University

Let’s work together, we’ll help you see what’s never been seen

We believe you should be able to see clearly into the brain or other tissue to find the next big discovery using adaptive optics microscopy or a new and innovative imaging technique. Let us help you choose the best deformable mirror for your system so you can focus on moving your research forward. Contact us today.