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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 4 — Apr. 23, 2008

Active focus locking in an optically sectioning microscope utilizing a deformable membrane mirror

S. P. Poland, A. J. Wright, and J. M. Girkin  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 5, pp. 419-421 (2008)

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A significant challenge for in vivo imaging is to remove movement artifacts. These movements (typically due to either respiration and cardiac-related movement or surface chemical response) are normally limited to the axial direction, and hence features move in and out of the focal plane. This presents a real problem for high-resolution optically sectioned imaging techniques such as confocal and multiphoton microscopy. To overcome this we have developed an actively locked focus-tracking system based around a deformable membrane mirror. This has a significant advantage over more conventional focus-tracking techniques where the microscope objective is dithered, since the active element is not in direct, or indirect, contact with the sample. To examine the operational limits and to demonstrate possible applications for this form of focus locking, sample oscillation and movement are simulated for two different biological applications. We were able to track focus over a 400 μ m range (limited by the range of the piezomounted objective) with a rms precision on the focal depth of 0.31 μ m ± 0.05 μ m .

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.0180) Imaging systems : Microscopy
(170.1850) Medical optics and biotechnology : Dentistry
(180.1790) Microscopy : Confocal microscopy
(180.6900) Microscopy : Three-dimensional microscopy
(110.1080) Imaging systems : Active or adaptive optics

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: August 30, 2007
Revised Manuscript: November 27, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: January 19, 2008
Published: February 20, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

S. P. Poland, A. J. Wright, and J. M. Girkin, "Active focus locking in an optically sectioning microscope utilizing a deformable membrane mirror," Opt. Lett. 33, 419-421 (2008)

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  1. A. R. Carter, G. M. King, T. A. Ulrich, W. Halsey, D. Alchenberger, and T. T. Perkins, Appl. Opt. 46, 421 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  9. G. Smith, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Glasgow University, Scotland (personal communica-tion, 2007).
  10. S. P. Poland, D. Hughes, C. Longbottom, and J. M. Girkin are preparing a paper to be called "A protocol to monitor acid etching in dental tissue using a confocal microscope."

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