scanning microscopy (CLSM or LSCM) is a technique for obtaining high-resolution optical
images. The key feature of confocal microscopy is its ability to
produce in-focus images of thick specimens, a process known as optical sectioning. Images are acquired
point-by-point and reconstructed with a computer, allowing three-dimensional reconstructions of topologically-complex
objects. The principle of confocal microscopy was originally
patented by Marvin Minsky in 1957, but it took another thirty years and
the development of lasers
for CLSM to become a standard technique toward the end of the 1980s.