Scanning confocal microscopy offers several potential advantages for light microscope studies of biological material. Foremost amongst these is the rejection of interfering signals from out-of-focus structures, which often seriously degrade images. The degradation in image quality with epifluorescence microscopy is particularly pronounced; an unfortunate situation, as this is one of the most commonly used techniques in biological research. Confocal imaging almost completely eliminates this problem and therefore promises to have a wide application in this area. We have developed a high-speed beam scanning confocal imaging system that can be used in conjunction with a conventional microscope, and have examined a variety of biological material using this system. In all cases we have found that confocal imaging gives a marked improvement in quality over conventional techniques. The improvement is particularly spectacular with thick specimens viewed with epifluorescence.
© 1987 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 29, 1987
Published: August 15, 1987
W. B. Amos, J. G. White, and M. Fordham, "Use of confocal imaging in the study of biological structures," Appl. Opt. 26, 3239-3243 (1987)