The field of infrared spectral imaging and microscopy is advancing rapidly due in large measure to the recent commercialization of the first high-throughput, high-spatial-definition quantum cascade laser (QCL) microscope. Having speed, resolution and noise performance advantages while also eliminating the need for cryogenic cooling, its introduction has established a clear path to translating the well-established diagnostic capability of infrared spectroscopy into clinical and pre-clinical histology, cytology and hematology workflows.
Demand for even higher throughput while maintaining high-spectral fidelity and low-noise performance continues to drive innovation in QCL-based spectral imaging instrumentation. In this talk, we will present for the first time, recent technological advances in tunable QCL photonics which have led to an additional 10X enhancement in spectral image data collection speed while preserving the high spectral fidelity and SNR exhibited by the first generation of QCL microscopes. This new approach continues to leverage the benefits of uncooled microbolometer focal plane array cameras, which we find to be essential for ensuring both reproducibility of data across instruments and achieving the high-reliability needed in clinical applications. We will discuss the physics underlying these technological advancements as well as the new biomedical applications these advancements are enabling, including automated whole-slide infrared chemical imaging on clinically relevant timescales.
Jeremy A. Rowlette, Edeline Fotheringham, David Nichols, Miles J. Weida, Justin Kane, Allen Priest, David B. Arnone, Benjamin Bird, William B. Chapman, David B. Caffey, Paul Larson, and Timothy Day, "Recent advances in high-throughput QCL-based infrared microspectral imaging (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10076, High-Speed Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy: Toward Big Data Instrumentation and Management II, 100760N (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254478.5381802493001.
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