Confocal reflectance microscopy may enable screening and diagnosis of skin cancers noninvasively and in real-time,
as an adjunct to biopsy and pathology. Current confocal
point-scanning systems are large, complex, and expensive.
A confocal line-scanning microscope, utilizing a of linear array detector can be simpler, smaller, less expensive, and
may accelerate the translation of confocal microscopy in clinical and surgical dermatology. A line scanner may be
implemented with a divided-pupil, half used for transmission and half for detection, or with a full-pupil using a
beamsplitter. The premise is that a confocal line-scanner with either a divided-pupil or a full-pupil will provide high
resolution and optical sectioning that would be competitive to that of the standard confocal point-scanner.
We have developed a confocal line-scanner that combines both
divided-pupil and full-pupil configurations. This
combined-pupil prototype is being evaluated to determine the advantages and limitations of each configuration for
imaging skin, and comparison of performance to that of commercially available standard confocal point-scanning
microscopes. With the combined configuration, experimental evaluation of line spread functions (LSFs), contrast,
signal-to-noise ratio, and imaging performance is in progress under identical optical and skin conditions.
Experimental comparisons between divided-pupil and full-pupil LSFs will be used to determine imaging
performance. Both results will be compared to theoretical calculations using our previously reported Fourier
analysis model and to the confocal point spread function (PSF). These results may lead to a simpler class of
confocal reflectance scanning microscopes for clinical and surgical dermatology.