Significance: High-speed 3D imaging methods have been playing crucial roles in many biological discoveries.
Aim: We present a hybrid light-field imaging system and image processing algorithm that can visualize high-speed biological events.
Approach: The hybrid light-field imaging system uses the selective plane optical illumination, which simultaneously records a high-resolution 2D image and a low-resolution 4D light-field image. The high-resolution 4D light-field image is obtained by applying the hybrid algorithm derived from the deconvolution and phase retrieval methods.
Results: High-resolution 3D imaging at a speed of 100-s volumes per second over an imaging field of 250 × 250 × 80 μm3 in the x, y, and z axis, respectively, is achieved with a 2.5 times enhancement in lateral resolution over the entire imaging field compared with standard light-field systems. In comparison to the deconvolution algorithm, the hybrid algorithm addresses the artifact issue at the focal plane and reduces the computation time by a factor of 4.
Conclusions: The new hybrid light-field imaging method realizes high-resolution and ultrafast 3D imaging with a compact setup and simple algorithm, which may help discover important applications in biophotonics to visualize high-speed biological events.