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Confocal Microscopy

The main scientific endeavor in confocal microscopy is to study cellular processes. However, studying these processes in living tissue is both critical and challenging to the field. Traditionally, non-invasive in vivo imaging has struggled with a fundamental problem: using enough light to illuminate a sample when using too much light can cause damage to the sample. Due to advancements in adaptive optics, confocal microscopy can now avoid this tradeoff. Because adaptive optics increases not only resolution, but also signal strength and contrast level, low-light levels can now be used for clear, deep-tissue imaging in vivo.

Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope

A problem encountered in wide-field microscopy and all high-power microscopes is the need to image larger samples at higher magnifications, when higher magnification traditionally restricts microscopic field of view. Existing solutions to this problem include the fast-scanning microscope stage and the fast-scanning lens. Fast-scanning stages serve to move different regions of the sample under the objective in effort to obtain snapshots that can be stitched together to form a complete image. Oftentimes, however, the moving mechanics themselves introduce new image aberrations. The fast-scanning lens, on the other hand, does not rely on a moving stage, yet traditionally requires expensive and complex optics to overcome inherent image blurring caused by off-axis lens aberrations. As an alternative to these solutions, Dr. Benjamin Potsaid's team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute created the Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope, which uses fast-scanning lens technology coupled with economical Mini-DM to compensate for off-axis aberrations. The effect is the ability to correct aberrations caused by optical imperfections but at a greatly reduced cost when compared to a typical high-powered, wide field-of-view scanning microscopes. The ASOM has been licensed by Thorlabs and is commercially available.

AO microscope

 
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