The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate potential for high resolution fluorescence imaging during standard endoscopic
procedures using a catheter-based confocal endoscope, compatible with standard video-endoscopes. The instrument,
an F400 prototype from Mauna Kea Technologies (Paris, France), may function in various imaging modalities: auto-fluorescence or exogenous fluorescence using topical applications of fluorophores.
The system is composed of a Laser Scanning Unit, a range of fibered objectives and a dedicated software, which makes it possible to obtain images at a rate of 12 frames per second. These images have a lateral resolution of 2.5 microns, an axial resolution of 15 microns, a field of view up to 600 microns x 500 microns and can be obtained at depths up to 100 microns. The miniaturized fibered probes offer unique access capabilities, specifically through the operating channel of an endoscope. So far, these studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the F400 in allowing confocal laser imaging of the internal microstructure of tissues in the anatomical tract accessed by the endoscope, thanks to the miniaturization of the
system. The device can be considered as a new tool towards "optical biopsies" and in vivo histology, leading to more physiologically relevant data and cost effective medicine.