Considerable efforts have been recently undertaken to develop miniature optical-sectioning microscopes for in vivo microendoscopy and point-of-care pathology. These devices enable in vivo interrogation of disease as a real-time and noninvasive alternative to gold-standard histopathology, and therefore could have a transformative impact for the early detection of cancer as well as for guiding tumor-resection procedures. Regardless of the specific modality, various trade-offs in size, speed, field of view, resolution, contrast, and sensitivity are necessary to optimize a device for a particular application. Here, a miniature MEMS-based line-scanned dual-axis confocal (LS-DAC) microscope, with a 12-mm diameter distal tip, has been developed for point-of-care pathology. The dual-axis architecture has demonstrated superior rejection of out-of-focus and multiply scattered photons compared to a conventional single-axis confocal configuration. The use of line scanning enables fast frame rates (≥15 frames/sec), which mitigates motion artifacts of a handheld device during clinical use. We have developed a method to actively align the illumination and collection beams in this miniature LS-DAC microscope through the use of a pair of rotatable alignment mirrors. Incorporation of a custom objective lens, with a small form factor for in vivo application, enables the device to achieve an axial and lateral resolution of 2.0 and 1.1 microns, respectively. Validation measurements with reflective targets, as well as in vivo and ex vivo images of tissues, demonstrate that this high-speed LS-DAC microscope can achieve high-contrast imaging of fluorescently labeled tissues with sufficient sensitivity for applications such as oral cancer detection and guiding brain-tumor resections.
Ye Chen, Chengbo Yin, Linpeng Wei, Adam K. Glaser, Sanjee Abeytunge, Gary Peterson, Michael J. Mandella, Nader Sanai, Milind Rajadhyaksha, and Jonathan T. Liu, "A handheld MEMS-based line-scanned dual-axis confocal microscope for early cancer detection and surgical guidance (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10040, Endoscopic Microscopy XII, 100400W (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250440.5369883832001.
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