Scanning confocal microscopy is a standard choice for many fluorescence imaging applications in basic biomedical research. It is able to produce optically sectioned images and provide acquisition versatility to address many samples and application demands. However, scanning a focused point across the specimen limits the speed of image acquisition. As a result, scanning confocal microscope only works well with stationary samples. Researchers have performed parallel confocal scanning using digital-micromirror-device (DMD), which was used to project a scanning multi-point pattern across the sample. The DMD based parallel confocal systems increase the imaging speed while maintaining the optical sectioning ability. In this paper, we report the development of an add-on kit for high-speed and low-cost confocal microscopy. By adapting this add-on kit to an existing regular microscope, one can convert it into a confocal microscope without significant hardware modifications. Compared with current DMD-based implementations, the reported approach is able to recover multiple layers along the z axis simultaneously. It may find applications in wafer inspection and 3D metrology of semiconductor circuit. The dissemination of the proposed add-on kit under $1000 budget could also lead to new types of experimental designs for biological research labs, e.g., cytology analysis in cell culture experiments, genetic studies on multicellular organisms, pharmaceutical drug profiling, RNA interference studies, investigation of microbial communities in environmental systems, and etc.
Kaikai Guo and Guoan Zheng, "Development of an add-on kit for scanning confocal microscopy (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10055, Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings III, 100550K (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251252.5371876612001.
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