Optical tomography allows isotropic 3D imaging of embryos. Scanning-laser optical tomography (SLOT) has superior light collecting efficiency than wide-field optical tomography, making it ideal for fluorescence imaging of live embryos.
We previously reported an imaging system that combines SLOT with a novel Fourier-multiplexed fluorescence lifetime imaging (FmFLIM) technique named FmFLIM-SLOT. FmFLIM-SLOT performs multiplexed FLIM-FRET readout of multiple FRET sensors in live embryos. Here we report a recent effort on improving the spatial resolution of the FmFLIM-SLOT system in order to image complex biochemical processes in live embryos at the cellular level.
Optical tomography has to compromise between resolution and the depth of view. In SLOT, the commonly-used focused Gaussian beam diverges quickly from the focal plane, making it impossible to achieve high resolution imaging in a large volume specimen. We thus introduce Bessel beam laser-scanning tomography, which illuminates the sample with a spatial-light-modulator-generated Bessel beam that has an extended focal depth. The Bessel beam is scanned across the whole specimen. Fluorescence projection images are acquired at equal angular intervals as the sample rotates. Reconstruction artifacts due to annular-rings of the Bessel beam are removed by a modified 3D filtered back projection algorithm.
Furthermore, in combination of Fourier-multiplexing fluorescence lifetime imaging (FmFLIM) method, the Bessel FmFLIM-SLOT system is capable of perform 3D lifetime imaging of live embryos at cellular resolution. The system is applied to in-vivo imaging of transgenic Zebrafish embryos. Results prove that Bessel FmFLIM-SLOT is a promising imaging method in development biology research.
Dongli Xu and Leilei Peng, "Bessel beam fluorescence lifetime tomography of live embryos
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9716, Optical Methods in Developmental Biology IV, 97160H (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213972.4848767653001.
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