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Meng Cui
Lab Head
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Meng Cui and his team at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus developed the Iterative Multiphoton Adaptive Compensation Technique (IMPACT) to addresses the challenges of deep tissue microscopy.

Because biological tissues are seldom clear, deep tissue optical microscopy faces significant challenges. Optical wavefront distortions caused by aberration and random scattering limit the depth of imaging penetration. IMPACT leverages the nonlinearity of multiphoton signals to determine and compensate for these distortions and to focus light inside deep tissues. The technique is unlike conventional adaptive optics methods as it has the ability to quickly measure highly complicated wavefront distortions found in deep tissue imaging and compensate for both aberrations and random scattering.

IMPACT which uses BMC’s MEMS Kilo-DM deformable mirror has been tested with a variety of dissimilar biological samples including mouse brain slices and intact lymph nodes. Cui’s research has shown that compared to conventional multiphoton microscopy and adaptive optics methods the IMPACT technique can acquire clear images in deep tissues with a significantly reduced requirement for excitation power, thus reducing photo damage to the biological tissue

This image is of GFP labeled T cell inside a mouse lymph node at a depth of 0.8 mm. The scale bar is 5 micron. The image on the left is acquired with IMPACT and 60mW laser power. The image on the right is acquired without IMPACT and 360 mW laser power. Without IMPACT, 6 times laser power is required to yield similar signal strength.  However the right image is blurry and has a lot of background. With IMPACT using 1/6 of laser power yields better images.

Publications
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/09/1119590109.full.pdf+html
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/fulltext.cfm?uri=oe-20-15-16532&id=239623

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