UNIT 14.11 Basic Confocal Microscopy

  1. Carolyn L. Smith

Published Online: 1 JAN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/0471142727.mb1411s81

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

How to Cite

Smith, C. L. 2008. Basic Confocal Microscopy. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 81:14.11:14.11.1–14.11.18.

Author Information

  1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2008
  2. Published Print: JAN 2008


This unit introduces the reader to the basic principles of confocal microscopy and the design and capabilities of current confocal microscopes. The advantages and disadvantages of confocal microscopy compared to other techniques for fluorescence imaging are described. There are also practical guidelines for sample preparation and optimization of imaging parameters, as well as examples of some of the applications of confocal microscopy. Curr. Protoc. Mol. Biol. 81:14.11.1-14.11.18. © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • confocal microscopy;
  • fluorescence;
  • imaging;
  • resolution;
  • three-dimensional reconstruction