OSA's Digital Library

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

| EXPLORING THE INTERFACE OF LIGHT AND BIOMEDICINE

  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 4, Iss. 6 — May. 26, 2009
« Show journal navigation

Annular pupil filter under shot-noise condition for linear and non linear microscopy

Emiliano Ronzitti, Giuseppe Vicidomini, Valentina Caorsi, and Alberto Diaspro  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 8, pp. 6867-6880 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.17.006867


View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (2493 KB)





Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


   


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools

Share
Citations

Abstract

The imaging performances of multiphoton excitation and confocal laser scanning microscopy are herby considered: in typical experimental imaging conditions, a small finite amount of photon reaches the detector giving shot-noise fluctuations which affects the signal acquired. A significant detriment in the high frequencies transmission capability is obtained. In order to partially recover the high frequencies information lost, the insertion of a pupil plane filter in the microscope illumination light pathway on the objective lens is proposed. We demonstrate high-frequency and resolution enhancement in the case of linear and non linear fluorescence microscope approach under shot-noise condition.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM)[1

1. C. J. R. Sheppard and T. Wilson, “Image formation in scanning microscopes with partially coherent source and detector,” Optica Acta 25, 315–325 (1978). [CrossRef]

] and two photon excitation (2PE) microscopy [2

2. W. Denk, J. H. Strickler, and W. W. Webb, “Two-Photon Laser Scanning Fluorescence Microscopy,” Science 248, 73–76 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] are crucial optical techniques, commonly used in several research areas, especially in the biomedical field[3

3. Y. Garini, B. J. Vermolen, and I. T. Young, “From micro to nano: recent advances in high-resolution microscopy,” Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 16, 3–12 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. CLSM and 2PE performances have been extensively analyzed both in the spatial and in the frequency domain [4–7

4. T. Wilson and C. J. R. Sheppard, Theory and practice of scanning optical microscopy(AcademicPress, London,1984).

] providing a full description of their optical capabilities and an exhaustive evaluation of their theoretical resolution limits. These analysis, which generally assumes ideal imaging conditions, i.e. detection without perturbations of a diffraction-limited illumination spot, have been combined with detailed analysis taking into account also the noise contribution and evaluating the overall Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N) in the image formation [8–10

8. I. J. Cox and C. J. R. Sheppard, “Information capacity and resolution in an optical system,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 3, (1986). [CrossRef]

]. These further characterizations are essential as in several live-cell confocal and two photon imaging applications[5

5. A. Diaspro, G. Chirico, and M. Collini, “Two photon fluorescence excitation and related techniques in biological microscopy,” Q. Rev. Biophys. 38, 97–166 (2005). [CrossRef]

], extremely low signal levels are acquired and noise contributions can not be neglected[11

11. J. E. N. Jonkman and E. H. K. Steltzer, “Resolution and contrast in confocal Two-Photon Microscopy” in Confocal and Two Photons: Foundations, Applications and Advances, A. Diaspro Ed. (Wiley-Liss, 2002).

], significantly hampering the imaging process formation and hence deteriorating the image quality. In particular, such a low photon influx to the detector determines an uncertainty in the detection photon counting known as shot-noise, extremely relevant for CLSM and 2PE microscopy[12

12. J. B. Pawley, “Fundamental limits in confocal microscopy” in Handbook of biological confocal microscopyJ.B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.2.

].

Therefore, in the present work a characterization of the imaging performances of CLSM and 2PE microscopy affected by shot-noise is presented. In particular, a detailed analysis in the frequency domain will be adopted to emphasize shot-noise influence in the high frequencies range with a substantial reduction of the transfer function bandwidth which produces a remarkable decrease of the spatial resolution.

In order to improve the imaging quality, the insertion of an annular amplitude filter juxtaposed to the microscope objective lens in the illumination arm is proposed using a consolidated approach [13–18

13. G. Toraldo di Francia, “Nuovo pupille superrisolvente,” Atti Fond. Giorgio Ronchi 7, 366–372 (1952).

]. In fact, the interference effect induced by the proposed filter results in a redistribution of the optical transfer function, mostly prominent along the axial direction and particularly displaying an improvement of the high spatial frequency response of the system at the expense of a slight low-frequency information loss [19–22

19. E. L. O’Neill, “Transfer function for an annular aperture,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 285–288 (1956). [CrossRef]

]. Consequently, such a pupil filter can be regarded as a filter able to improve the S/N at high frequencies and, hence, to partially recover the high frequencies information loss because of shot-noise.

2. Theory

2.1 PSF and OTF characterization

The imaging capability of an optical system could be fully characterized by the system response in terms of 3D intensity Point Spread function (3D-PSF) and 3D Optical Transfer Function (3D-OTF) [23

23. C. W. McCutchen, “Generalized Aperture and the Three-Dimensional Diffraction Image,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 240–242 (1964). [CrossRef]

].

The intensity 3D-PSF of a fluorescent microscope system can be determined by [1

1. C. J. R. Sheppard and T. Wilson, “Image formation in scanning microscopes with partially coherent source and detector,” Optica Acta 25, 315–325 (1978). [CrossRef]

,24

24. M. Gu and C. J. R. Sheppard, “Effects of a finite-sized pinhole on 3D image formation in confocal two-photon fluorescence microscopy,” J. Mod. Opt. 40, 2009–2024 (1993). [CrossRef]

]

PSFsystem(u,v,ϕP)=[hex(u,v,ϕP)2]m·[D(v)hem(uβ,vβ,ϕP)2]
(1)

where a point-like illumination source is assumed; the first factor represents the illumination, while the second square brackets describes the detection intensity PSF; hex(u,v,ϕp) and hem(uβ,vβ,ϕP) represent respectively the amplitude PSF of the objective lens for the excitation and the emission wavelength; β is a scale factor taking into account the excitation and the emission wavelength β = λem/λex [4

4. T. Wilson and C. J. R. Sheppard, Theory and practice of scanning optical microscopy(AcademicPress, London,1984).

]; D(v) characterizes the pinhole aperture; m is the number of photon absorbed during the excitation process; u,v,ϕP specifies the position of a typical point P in the focal region of the objective lens; u,v are the radial and axial optical coordinates which properly take into account the wavelength of the incident light on the objective lens:

{u=krPcosϑPsin2αv=krPsinθPsinα
(2)

with k = 2π/λex,λex, is the wavelength of excitation light, α is the angular aperture of the lens, θP, ϕP, rP are the spherical coordinates of P.

In the present investigation, we refer to two widely diffused fluorescence microscopy systems: a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) and a two-photon excitation (2PE) scheme. The CLSM scheme has been modelled considering a single photon excitation and an ideal point-like pinhole aperture, approximating D(v) as a Dirac’s delta function. On the contrary, the TPE scheme adopted is considered with no pinhole detection, approximating D(v) as infinitely extensive with unitary response. With this usual assumptions from Eq. (1) we evaluate our working confocal and two photon intensity PSF [11

11. J. E. N. Jonkman and E. H. K. Steltzer, “Resolution and contrast in confocal Two-Photon Microscopy” in Confocal and Two Photons: Foundations, Applications and Advances, A. Diaspro Ed. (Wiley-Liss, 2002).

,24

24. M. Gu and C. J. R. Sheppard, “Effects of a finite-sized pinhole on 3D image formation in confocal two-photon fluorescence microscopy,” J. Mod. Opt. 40, 2009–2024 (1993). [CrossRef]

] as:

PSFCLSM(u,v,ϕP)=(hex(u,v,ϕP)2)·(hex(uβ,vβ,ϕP)2)
(3)
PSF2PE(u,v,ϕP)=(hex(u,v,ϕP)2)2
(4)

Here, we consider a circularly polarized illumination light, hence[6

6. M. Nagorni and S. W. Hell, “Coherent use of opposing lenses for axial resolution increase in fluorescence microscopy. I. Comparative study of concepts,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 36–48 (2001). [CrossRef]

]:

h(u,v)2=12π02πE(u,v,ϕP)2dϕP
(5)

with E(u,v,ϕP) the electric field in the point P(θP,ϕP,rP) of the image plane defined according to the diffraction vectorial theory by Richards and Wolf [25

25. E. Wolf, “Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems I. An integral representation of the image field” Proc. of the Royal Society of London. Series A 253, 349–357 (1959). [CrossRef]

,26

26. B. Richards and E. Wolf, “Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems II. Structure of the image field in an aplanatic system,” Proc. of the Royal Society of London. Series A 253, 358–379 (1959). [CrossRef]

].

The insertion of a pupil-plane filter juxtaposed to the objective lens in the incident light pathway induces an interference effect which modifies the components of the electromagnetic field in P by a factor K(θ,ϕ) characterizing the pupil-plane function:

{ex=iAπ0α02πK(θ,ϕ)cosθsinθ{cosθ+(1cosθ)sin2ϕ}eikrpcosεdθdϕey=iAπ0α02πK(θ,ϕ)cosθsinθ(1cosθ)cosϕsinϕeikrpcosεdθdϕez=iAπ0α02πK(θ,ϕ)cosθsin2θcosϕeikrpcosεdθdϕ
(6)

with

cosε=cosθcosθP+sinθsinθPcos(ϕϕP)
(7)

where A is a constant taking into account the incident light and the lens focus[26

26. B. Richards and E. Wolf, “Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems II. Structure of the image field in an aplanatic system,” Proc. of the Royal Society of London. Series A 253, 358–379 (1959). [CrossRef]

]. Consequently, the intensity PSF distributions defined by Eq. (3) and Eq. (4) are modified.

Fig. 1. Annular filter scheme

We assume an obscuring annular amplitude filter centred on the lens optical axis and completely absorbing the incident light over its extension (Fig. 1), hence only depending on θ:

K(θ)={0α2(1C100)<θ<α2(1+C100)1otherwise
(8)

where C takes into account the annular covering portion of the overall angular aperture.

The effect of the filter insertion on the intensity PSF, either for CLSM or for 2PE, has been previously analyzed[27

27. F. Cella, E. Ronzitti, G. Vicidomini, P. P. Mondal, and A. Diaspro “Studying the illumination puzzle towards an isotropic increase of optical resolution,” Proc. of SPIE 6861 (2008). [CrossRef]

] and it results in a double effect: sharpening up of the PSF central lobe in despite of an increase in the side-lobe levels, both more prominent as the covering portion C parameter increases .

2.2 Shot-noise effect

One of the most significant source of imaging noise in fluorescence microscopy is known as photon shot-noise or poissonian noise. Due to the statistical nature of photon production, the probability distribution to detect n photons induced by a photons per second influx γ in a temporal observation window t obeys a poissonian distribution [28

28. I. T. Young, “Quantitative Microscopy,” IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. 15, 59–66 (1996). [CrossRef]

]:

P(n)=(γt)neγtn!
(9)

where the mean of the poissonian distribution γt represents the expected number of photons np contained in the light beam in the time t. Due to this probabilistic behaviour, the photons detection counting is affected by a remarkable uncertainty more prominent as the number of expected photons decreases. As noise is given by the square root of the signal variance, shot-noise over a certain temporal detection interval is assumed as the square root of the expected number of photons contained in the beam. Assuming only shot-noise, this results in a finite S/N equal to square root of np.

Clearly, shot noise contribution to the detected signal becomes relevant as the photons rate to the detector is reduced. For standard confocal and 2PE scanning applications, the amount of photons reaching the detector has been estimated nearly 10-1000photons/voxel, depending on the imaging conditions used [2

2. W. Denk, J. H. Strickler, and W. W. Webb, “Two-Photon Laser Scanning Fluorescence Microscopy,” Science 248, 73–76 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,5

5. A. Diaspro, G. Chirico, and M. Collini, “Two photon fluorescence excitation and related techniques in biological microscopy,” Q. Rev. Biophys. 38, 97–166 (2005). [CrossRef]

,29–31

29. E. H. K. Steltzer, “Contrast, resolution, pixilation, dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio: fundamental limits to resolution in fluorescence light microscopy,” J. Microsc. 189, 15–24 (1998). [CrossRef]

]. The slight quantity of photons acquired is mainly due to the huge portion of the emitted photons lost in the detection pathway [32

32. E. H. K. Steltzer, “The intermediate optical system of laser-scanning confocal microscopes”, in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy,” J. B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006), Chap. 9.

], as losses due to the angular aperture lens which limits signal collection or the several signal losses during the transmission inside the microscope. For such an estimated photon amount, shot-noise contribution ranges from 1% up to a 30% of the signal. It follows that, in typical CLSM and 2PE investigations the uncertainty in the detected photon counting can become quantitatively remarkable. Apparently, a proper rearrangement of the imaging microscope conditions could minimize shot-noise effect: oversampling, increasing the illumination photon rate or the exposition time, can induce a high np and thus a negligible shot noise contribution. However, these solutions can be significantly limited by saturation, photobleaching and light-matter damaging interactions [33

33. H. J. Koester, D. Baur, R. Uhl, and S. W. Hell, “Ca2+ Fluorescence Imaging with Pico- and Femtosecond Two-Photon Excitation: Signal and Photodamage,” Biophys. J. 77, 2226–2236 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,34

34. G. H. Patterson and D. W. Piston, “Photobleaching in Two-Photon Excitation Microscopy,” Biophys J. 78, 2159–2162 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

Since shot-noise is a subtle intrinsic limit of several confocal and 2PE scanning microscopy experimental applications, an evaluation of its influence on the spatial resolution is essential. Hence, in order to establish the effective practical resolution power, a simulation of the shot-noise effect on the 2PE and CLSM imaging process formation has been performed.

Fig. 2. Theoretical PSF for 2PE (a) and CLSM (c) configuration; PSF associated with a finite expected number of photons np=20photons (b),(d). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm (scale bar equal to 100nm)

Simulation algorithm perturbs the theoretical PSF of the system (Fig. 2(a), Fig. 2(c)) by a shot-noise contribution corresponding to a finite amount of photons influx to the detector: in particular each pixel is perturbed by a poissonian probabilistic distribution [35–37

35. P. J. Verveer and T. M. Jovin, “Efficient superresolution restoration algorithms using maximum a posteriori estimations with application to fluorescence microscopy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1696–1707 (1997). [CrossRef]

]. In order to take into account the differences of photons collected in the central lobe of the PSF with respect to the side lobe, we properly scaled the mean of the poissonian fluctuations depending on the pixel position in the PSF. Under these assumptions, the new PSF represents one of the possible PSF resulting by taking into account the statistical fluctuations in the amount of photons detected (Fig. 2(b), Fig. 2(d)). This allows to evaluate the real diffractive intensity distribution associated with a finite amount of photons to the detector.

We have to mention that the imaging process is affected also by several other background signals not treated in the present work in order to emphasize the role of shot-noise.

Fig. 3. Theoretical OTF for 2PE (a) and CLSM (b) configuration; PSF associated with a finite expected number of photons np=20photons (c),(d). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm (bar line is 1.2μm-1).

2. Data and results

In order to investigate the effect of shot-noise on the CLSM and 2PE imaging, an analysis of the optical system response in the frequency domain has been carried out (Fig. 3). Graphs of Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 show the 2PE and CLSM OTF radial and axial profile performed in presence of shot-noise contributions.

Fig 4. Axial OTF in 2PE (a) and in CLSM (b) scheme for different photon influxes to the detector assuming a particular noise realization; OTF high-frequency region in the insets (c)(d). Dots line in the inset indicate the cut-off frequencies estimated (black dots theoretical, red dots np=20photons, blue dots np=100photons). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm.

Noise slightly influences the low-frequency transmission, but it significantly affects the information capability at the high frequencies. In particular, it is possible to outline a noise level threshold below which the real object frequencies is merged to noise contribution (Fig. 4, Fig. 5 insets).

Hence, this noise level limit redefines the baseline OTF level, resulting in some new effective cut-off frequency values, lower than the theoretical one. The threshold limit has been obtained by the simulations results assuming a noise band equal to μ±3σ , with μ the mean of the OTF values above the theoretical cut-off frequency, hence due only to noise signal, and σ the relative standard deviation. The ±3σ interval has been set in order to have a 99% confidential interval for the noise statistic.

Fig. 5. Radial OTF in 2PE (a) and in CLSM (b) scheme for different photon influxes to the detector assuming a particular noise realization; OTF high-frequency region in the insets (c)(d). Dots line in the inset indicate the cut-off frequencies estimated (black dots theoretical, red dots np=20photons, blue dots np=100photons). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm.

Such a noise level has been estimated in a range of 2%–3% of the OTF peak value for an amount of tens photons reaching the detector and it decreases tending towards the theoretical zero value increasing the quantitative of expected photons.

Because of the extremely weak high-frequencies response capability, even if the threshold noise limit calculated is relatively small respect to the OTF peak, for slight amount of photons it appreciably deteriorates high frequencies capability reducing the theoretical cutoff frequencies of the system and thus the effective resolution power of the optical system. Table1 shows the new 2PE and CLSM cut-off frequencies obtained simulating the shot-noise effect on a theoretical PSF assuming a finite amount of photons detected. Each value represents the averaged cut-off frequency obtained by 20cut-off frequencies evaluated by different simulations with the same amount of photons at different noise realizations. The errors have been evaluated as the standard error. Theoretical values have been calculated assuming ideal conditions. As notable, the transfer bandwidth is significantly reduced.

Table 1. Estimation of the effective cut-off frequency values varying the number of photons emitted for pixel (NA1.4; refractive index 1,51; excitation wavelength 900nm 2PE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm)..

table-icon
View This Table
| View All Tables

In order to recover those high-frequency details lost, we propose to use an amplitude ring pupil plane filter[21

21. B. J. D. William, C. Karl, A. K. Swan, M. S. Unlu, and B. B. Goldberg, “Capabilities and limitations of pupil-plane filters for superresolution and image enhancement,” Opt. Express 12, 4150–4156 (2004). [CrossRef]

]. We compare the characteristics of the proposed annular filters, simulating the diffractive pattern obtained in CLSM and 2PE scheme in the frequency domain for differently covering portion of the whole plane of the entrance pupil (C=0;15;25;30).

Fig. 6. Axial OTF for 2PE (a) and CLSM (b) scheme for different filters.. OTF high-frequency region in the insets (c)(d). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm.

The axial and the radial profile of the three-dimensional OTF has been plotted in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7.

As expected, the theoretical bandwidth extension is not affected by the pupil filter, keeping unchanged the cut-off frequencies [21

21. B. J. D. William, C. Karl, A. K. Swan, M. S. Unlu, and B. B. Goldberg, “Capabilities and limitations of pupil-plane filters for superresolution and image enhancement,” Opt. Express 12, 4150–4156 (2004). [CrossRef]

]. Nonetheless, a different distribution of the frequency information has been obtained: a substantial increase of the high-frequencies transmission is gained at the expense of a low-frequencies loss. As shown by graphs in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7, this effect could be tuned by a proper choice of the obscured pupil surface covered by the designed filter. Moreover, it is notable that such a filtering effect is more remarkable in the axial direction and slightly affects the radial profile.

Fig. 7. Radial OTF for 2PE (a) and CLSM (b) scheme for different filters. OTF high-frequency region in the insets (c)(d). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm.

Figure 8 and Fig. 9 illustrate the noise influence on the OTF profile in radial and axial direction for CLSM and 2PE scheme in filtering configuration.

Fig. 8. Axial OTF in 2PE (a) and in CLSM (b) scheme for filter configuration in shot-noise condition assuming a particular noise realization; OTF high-frequency region in the insets (c)(d).Dots line in the inset indicate the cut-off frequencies estimated (black theoretical, red np=20photons, blue filter). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm.

Due to the enhanced high frequency response obtained in the annular filtering configuration, the high frequencies removed by the noise effect can be remarkably recovered in the axial direction, less significantly in the radial profile. Furthermore, the filtering high-frequencies recovery effect in presence of noise, is accentuated in 2PE.

Table 2. Effective axial cut-off frequencies assuming a finite amount of photons to the detector in filtering scheme. Data in round brackets represent the filter percentage improvement respect to the unfiltered case.

table-icon
View This Table
| View All Tables

Table 3. Effective radial cut-off frequencies assuming a finite amount of photons to the detector in filtering scheme. Data in round brackets represent the filter percentage improvement respect to the unfiltered case.

table-icon
View This Table
| View All Tables

Table 2 and Table 3 show the new cut-off frequencies estimated inserting a ring filter on objective lens and assuming different photons influxes to the detector. Each value represents the averaged cut-off frequency obtained by 20cut-off frequencies evaluated by different simulations with the same amount of photons at different noise realizations. The errors have been evaluated as the standard error.

Fig. 9. Radial OTF in 2PE (a) and in CLSM (b) scheme for filter configuration in shot-noise condition assuming a particular noise realization; OTF high-frequency region in the insets (c)(d). Dots line in the inset indicate the cut-off frequencies estimated (black theoretical, red np=20photons, blue filter). NA=1.4, n=1.518, excitation wavelength 900nm TPE, 400nm CLSM; detection wavelength 500nm.

For a low photons influx to the detector, in the 2PE scheme the filtering effect shows significant improvements in the axial direction, where the high frequencies lost because of shot-noise are significantly recovered. Such effects are more prominent increasing the obscuring portion of the annular filter. Even if it reaches a weaker improvements, similar effects are obtained along the axial direction for a CLSM scheme. In both cases, increasing the expected number of photons the filter benefits become less important.

It is worth mentioning that the low-frequency loss can be neglected and overcome by linear imaging restoration until it does not reach the threshold noise level, where the signal frequencies are irreversibly blurred with noise. However, since the filter effect can be tuned varying the ring covering portion, a proper choice of the ring extension on the basis of the expected signal level, can prevent this eventuality. For the shot-noise threshold level evaluated in the present investigation, the ring covering portion is limited up to C=25.

The application of such ring filter, partially obstructing the light optical pathway, could be limited by the laser intensity on the sample, considerably low respect to the unobstructed case. However, since the filter is inserted in the microscope illumination arm, these limits has been overcome in confocal and 2PE scanning microscopy as the scanning laser illumination could be adjusted to have adequate intensity on the sample [39

39. M. Neil, R. Juskaitis, T. Wilson, Z. J. Laczik, and V. Sarafis, “Pupil-plane filters for confocal microscope point spread function engineering,” Opt. Lett. 25, 245–247 (2000). [CrossRef]

]. In the analysis carried out, the excitation source power has been set in order to have the same incident power on the sample in each configurations.

In the present treatment we consider circularly polarized illumination light. Analogous filter effects both in the spatial and in the frequency domain can be obtained assuming linearly polarized light[27

27. F. Cella, E. Ronzitti, G. Vicidomini, P. P. Mondal, and A. Diaspro “Studying the illumination puzzle towards an isotropic increase of optical resolution,” Proc. of SPIE 6861 (2008). [CrossRef]

]. Clearly, in this case the high frequencies recovery induced by the filter has to be evaluated for each different radial directions as the radial section of the OTF induced by a linearly polarized illumination is not symmetric.

In order to deepen in the characterization of signal to noise performances of the proposed optical system scheme, a further study of the pinhole size should be performed. As the pinhole size can modulate the signal to noise ratio of the imaging process, such an analysis would allow an estimation of the optimum pinhole size for our situation depending on the shot-noise effect and on the background signal level originating from non-specific staining or autofluorescence, from either the specimen or optical elements[40

40. C. J. R. Sheppard, X. Gan, M. Gu, and M. Roy, “Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Confocal Microscopes” in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J.B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.22. [CrossRef]

]. Such a study would be particularly relevant within an experimental perspective of the proposed scheme.

4. Conclusion and perspectives

In this work a detailed analysis of the shot-noise effect in CLSM and 2PE microscopy has been discussed. In particular, the loss of high frequencies information in presence of shot-noise has been studied and the new effective CLSM and 2PE cut-off frequencies have been estimated. In order to retrieve the high frequencies information loss because of shot-noise, a ring filter configuration able to enhance the high spatial frequencies response has been presented. The proposed annular filter allows to recover the high frequencies loss in presence of noise especially in the axial direction, improving the practical optical resolution deteriorated by the noise. This is particularly evident for the 2PE case.

Furthermore, the utilization of tuneable white light [41

41. V. Caorsi, E. Ronzitti, G. Vicidomini, S. Krol, G. McConnell, and A. Diaspro “FRET Measurements on Fuzzy Fluorescent Nanostructures,” Microsc. Res. Tech. 70, 452–458 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] sources coupled to the spectral characteristic of the emission of fluorescent molecules being used[42

42. G. Patterson, R. N. Day, and D. Piston, “Fluorescent protein spectra,” J.Cell Science 114, 837–838 (2001). [PubMed]

], can allow a sort of tuning of such enhanced high frequencies within the cut-off frequencies domain. This tuning could allow to select specific spatial object features. It is worth noting that such a tuneable feature in illumination can be also effectively used in those applications utilizing photoactivatable or photoswitchable fluorescent proteins[43–45

43. A. Egner, C. Geisler, C. von Middendorff, H. Bock, D. Wenzel, R. Medda, M. Andresen, A.-C. Stiel, S. Jakobs, C. Eggeling, A. Schönle, and S. W. Hell, “Fluorescence nanoscopy in whole cells by asynchronous localization of photoswitching emitters,” Biophys. J. 93, 3285–3290 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

Acknowledgments

Authors are indebted with Paolo Solinas for the useful discussions on the poissonian photon statistic characterization and the shot-noise evaluation. This work is supported by University of Genoa, IFOM-IEO grants and PRIN2006-MIUR(2006028909)(Italian Minister of University and Research).

References and links

1.

C. J. R. Sheppard and T. Wilson, “Image formation in scanning microscopes with partially coherent source and detector,” Optica Acta 25, 315–325 (1978). [CrossRef]

2.

W. Denk, J. H. Strickler, and W. W. Webb, “Two-Photon Laser Scanning Fluorescence Microscopy,” Science 248, 73–76 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

Y. Garini, B. J. Vermolen, and I. T. Young, “From micro to nano: recent advances in high-resolution microscopy,” Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 16, 3–12 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4.

T. Wilson and C. J. R. Sheppard, Theory and practice of scanning optical microscopy(AcademicPress, London,1984).

5.

A. Diaspro, G. Chirico, and M. Collini, “Two photon fluorescence excitation and related techniques in biological microscopy,” Q. Rev. Biophys. 38, 97–166 (2005). [CrossRef]

6.

M. Nagorni and S. W. Hell, “Coherent use of opposing lenses for axial resolution increase in fluorescence microscopy. I. Comparative study of concepts,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 36–48 (2001). [CrossRef]

7.

M. G. L. Gustafsson, “Extended resolution fluorescence microscopy,” Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 9, 627–634 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8.

I. J. Cox and C. J. R. Sheppard, “Information capacity and resolution in an optical system,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 3, (1986). [CrossRef]

9.

K. Carlsson, “The influence of specimen refractive index, detector signal integration and non uniform scan spees on the imaging properties in confocal microscopy,” J. Microsc. 163, 167–178 (1991). [CrossRef]

10.

D. R. Sandison, D. W. Piston, R. M. Williams, and W. W. Webb, “Quantitative comparison of background rejection, signal-to-noise ratio, and resolution in confocal and full-field laser scanning microscopes,” Appl. Opt. 34, (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

J. E. N. Jonkman and E. H. K. Steltzer, “Resolution and contrast in confocal Two-Photon Microscopy” in Confocal and Two Photons: Foundations, Applications and Advances, A. Diaspro Ed. (Wiley-Liss, 2002).

12.

J. B. Pawley, “Fundamental limits in confocal microscopy” in Handbook of biological confocal microscopyJ.B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.2.

13.

G. Toraldo di Francia, “Nuovo pupille superrisolvente,” Atti Fond. Giorgio Ronchi 7, 366–372 (1952).

14.

I. J. Cox, C. J. R. Sheppard, and T. Wilson, “Reappraisal of arrays of concentric annuli as superresolving filters,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 1287–1291(1982). [CrossRef]

15.

O. Haeberl and B. Simon, “Improving lateral resolution in confocal fluorescence microscopy using laterally interfering excitation beams,” Opt. Commun. 259, 400–408 (2006). [CrossRef]

16.

P. P. Mondal and A. Diaspro, “Lateral resolution improvement in two photon excitation microscopy by aperture engineering,” Opt. Commun. 281, 1855–1859 (2008). [CrossRef]

17.

C. J. R. Sheppard and A. Choudhury, “Annular pupils, radial polarization, and superresolution,” Appl. Opt. 43, 4322–4327 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18.

C. Ibáñez-López, G. Saavedra, G. Boyer, and M. Martinez-Corral, “Quasi-isotropic 3-D resolution in two-photon scanning microscopy,” Opt. Express 13, 6168–6174 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19.

E. L. O’Neill, “Transfer function for an annular aperture,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 285–288 (1956). [CrossRef]

20.

M. Gu and C. J. R. Sheppard, “Three-dimensional optical transfer function in a fiber-optical confocal fluorescence microscope using annular lenses,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1993–1999 (1992). [CrossRef]

21.

B. J. D. William, C. Karl, A. K. Swan, M. S. Unlu, and B. B. Goldberg, “Capabilities and limitations of pupil-plane filters for superresolution and image enhancement,” Opt. Express 12, 4150–4156 (2004). [CrossRef]

22.

M. R. Arnison and C. J. R. Sheppard, “A 3d vectorial optical transfer function suitable for arbitrary pupil functions,” Opt. Comm. 211, 53–63 (2002). [CrossRef]

23.

C. W. McCutchen, “Generalized Aperture and the Three-Dimensional Diffraction Image,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 240–242 (1964). [CrossRef]

24.

M. Gu and C. J. R. Sheppard, “Effects of a finite-sized pinhole on 3D image formation in confocal two-photon fluorescence microscopy,” J. Mod. Opt. 40, 2009–2024 (1993). [CrossRef]

25.

E. Wolf, “Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems I. An integral representation of the image field” Proc. of the Royal Society of London. Series A 253, 349–357 (1959). [CrossRef]

26.

B. Richards and E. Wolf, “Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems II. Structure of the image field in an aplanatic system,” Proc. of the Royal Society of London. Series A 253, 358–379 (1959). [CrossRef]

27.

F. Cella, E. Ronzitti, G. Vicidomini, P. P. Mondal, and A. Diaspro “Studying the illumination puzzle towards an isotropic increase of optical resolution,” Proc. of SPIE 6861 (2008). [CrossRef]

28.

I. T. Young, “Quantitative Microscopy,” IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. 15, 59–66 (1996). [CrossRef]

29.

E. H. K. Steltzer, “Contrast, resolution, pixilation, dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio: fundamental limits to resolution in fluorescence light microscopy,” J. Microsc. 189, 15–24 (1998). [CrossRef]

30.

A. Diaspro, G. Chirico, C. Usai, P. Ramoino, and J. Dobrucki, “Photobleaching,” in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J.B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.16. [CrossRef]

31.

P. J. Shaw, “Comparison of Widefield/Deconvolution and confocal microscopy for three-dimensional Imaging,” in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J.B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.23. [CrossRef]

32.

E. H. K. Steltzer, “The intermediate optical system of laser-scanning confocal microscopes”, in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy,” J. B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006), Chap. 9.

33.

H. J. Koester, D. Baur, R. Uhl, and S. W. Hell, “Ca2+ Fluorescence Imaging with Pico- and Femtosecond Two-Photon Excitation: Signal and Photodamage,” Biophys. J. 77, 2226–2236 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

34.

G. H. Patterson and D. W. Piston, “Photobleaching in Two-Photon Excitation Microscopy,” Biophys J. 78, 2159–2162 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

35.

P. J. Verveer and T. M. Jovin, “Efficient superresolution restoration algorithms using maximum a posteriori estimations with application to fluorescence microscopy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1696–1707 (1997). [CrossRef]

36.

K. Lange and R. Carson, “EM Reconstruction Algorithms for emission and transmission tomography,” J. Comput. Assist. Tomogr. 8, 306–316 (1984). [PubMed]

37.

P. P. Mondal, G. Vicidomini, and A. Diaspro, “Image reconstruction for multiphoton fluorescence microscopy,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 103902 (2008). [CrossRef]

38.

M. Gu, Principles of Three-Dimensional Imaging in Confocal Microscopes (World Scientific, 1996).

39.

M. Neil, R. Juskaitis, T. Wilson, Z. J. Laczik, and V. Sarafis, “Pupil-plane filters for confocal microscope point spread function engineering,” Opt. Lett. 25, 245–247 (2000). [CrossRef]

40.

C. J. R. Sheppard, X. Gan, M. Gu, and M. Roy, “Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Confocal Microscopes” in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J.B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.22. [CrossRef]

41.

V. Caorsi, E. Ronzitti, G. Vicidomini, S. Krol, G. McConnell, and A. Diaspro “FRET Measurements on Fuzzy Fluorescent Nanostructures,” Microsc. Res. Tech. 70, 452–458 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

42.

G. Patterson, R. N. Day, and D. Piston, “Fluorescent protein spectra,” J.Cell Science 114, 837–838 (2001). [PubMed]

43.

A. Egner, C. Geisler, C. von Middendorff, H. Bock, D. Wenzel, R. Medda, M. Andresen, A.-C. Stiel, S. Jakobs, C. Eggeling, A. Schönle, and S. W. Hell, “Fluorescence nanoscopy in whole cells by asynchronous localization of photoswitching emitters,” Biophys. J. 93, 3285–3290 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

44.

S. T. Hess, T. P. K. Girirajan, and M. D. Mason, “Ultra-High Resolution Imaging by Fluorescence Photoactivation Localization Microscopy,” Biophys. J. 91, 4258–4272 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

45.

M. J. Rust, M. Bates, and X. Zhuang, “Sub-diffraction-limit imaging by stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM),” Nat. Methods 3, 793–796 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(180.2520) Microscopy : Fluorescence microscopy
(180.6900) Microscopy : Three-dimensional microscopy

ToC Category:
Microscopy

History
Original Manuscript: January 21, 2009
Revised Manuscript: March 12, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: March 15, 2009
Published: April 10, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Emiliano Ronzitti, Giuseppe Vicidomini, Valentina Caorsi, and Alberto Diaspro, "Annular pupil filter under shot-noise condition for linear and non linear microscopy," Opt. Express 17, 6867-6880 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/vjbo/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-17-8-6867


Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  

References

  1. C. J. R. Sheppard and T. Wilson, "Image formation in scanning microscopes with partially coherent source and detector," Optica Acta 25, 315-325 (1978). [CrossRef]
  2. W. Denk, J. H. Strickler, and W. W. Webb, "Two-Photon Laser Scanning Fluorescence Microscopy," Science 248, 73-76 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. Y. Garini, B. J. Vermolen and I. T. Young, "From micro to nano: recent advances in high-resolution microscopy," Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 16, 3-12 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. T. Wilson and C. J. R. Sheppard, Theory and practice of scanning optical microscopy (AcademicPress, London,1984).
  5. A. Diaspro, G. Chirico, and M. Collini, "Two photon fluorescence excitation and related techniques in biological microscopy," Q. Rev. Biophys. 38, 97-166 (2005). [CrossRef]
  6. M. Nagorni and S. W. Hell, "Coherent use of opposing lenses for axial resolution increase in fluorescence microscopy. I. Comparative study of concepts," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 36-48 (2001). [CrossRef]
  7. M. G. L. Gustafsson, "Extended resolution fluorescence microscopy," Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 9,627-634 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. I. J. Cox and C. J. R. Sheppard, "Information capacity and resolution in an optical system," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 3, (1986). [CrossRef]
  9. K. Carlsson, "The influence of specimen refractive index, detector signal integration and non uniform scan spees on the imaging properties in confocal microscopy," J. Microsc. 163, 167-178 (1991). [CrossRef]
  10. D. R. Sandison, D. W. Piston, R. M. Williams, and W. W. Webb, "Quantitative comparison of background rejection, signal-to-noise ratio, and resolution in confocal and full-field laser scanning microscopes," Appl. Opt. 34, (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. J. E. N. Jonkman and E. H. K. Steltzer, "Resolution and contrast in confocal Two-Photon Microscopy" in Confocal and Two Photons: Foundations, Applications and Advances, A.Diaspro Ed. (Wiley-Liss, 2002).
  12. J. B. Pawley, "Fundamental limits in confocal microscopy" in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J. B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.2.
  13. G. Toraldo di Francia, "Nuovo pupille superrisolvente," Atti Fond.Giorgio Ronchi 7, 366-372 (1952).
  14. I. J. Cox, C. J. R. Sheppard, and T. Wilson, "Reappraisal of arrays of concentric annuli as superresolving filters," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 1287-1291(1982). [CrossRef]
  15. O. Haeberl and B. Simon, "Improving lateral resolution in confocal fluorescence microscopy using laterally interfering excitation beams," Opt. Commun. 259, 400-408 (2006). [CrossRef]
  16. P. P. Mondal and A. Diaspro, "Lateral resolution improvement in two photon excitation microscopy by aperture engineering," Opt. Commun. 281,1855-1859 (2008). [CrossRef]
  17. C. J. R. Sheppard and A. Choudhury, "Annular pupils, radial polarization, and superresolution," Appl. Opt. 43, 4322-4327 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. C. Ibáñez-López, G. Saavedra, G. Boyer, and M. Martinez-Corral, "Quasi-isotropic 3-D resolution in two-photon scanning microscopy," Opt. Express 13, 6168-6174 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. E. L. O’Neill, "Transfer function for an annular aperture," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 285-288 (1956). [CrossRef]
  20. M. Gu and C. J. R. Sheppard, "Three-dimensional optical transfer function in a fiber-optical confocal fluorescence microscope using annular lenses," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1993-1999 (1992). [CrossRef]
  21. B. J. D. William C. Karl, A. K. Swan, M. S. Unlu, and B. B. Goldberg, "Capabilities and limitations of pupil-plane filters for superresolution and image enhancement," Opt. Express 12, 4150-4156 (2004). [CrossRef]
  22. M. R. Arnison and C. J. R. Sheppard, "A 3d vectorial optical transfer function suitable for arbitrary pupil functions," Opt. Comm. 211, 53-63 (2002). [CrossRef]
  23. C. W. McCutchen, "Generalized Aperture and the Three-Dimensional Diffraction Image," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 240-242 (1964). [CrossRef]
  24. M. Gu and C. J. R. Sheppard, "Effects of a finite-sized pinhole on 3D image formation in confocal two-photon fluorescence microscopy," J. Mod. Opt. 40, 2009-2024 (1993). [CrossRef]
  25. E. Wolf, "Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems I. An integral representation of the image field" Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 253, 349-357 (1959). [CrossRef]
  26. B. Richards and E. Wolf, "Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems II. Structure of the image field in an aplanatic system," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 253, 358-379 (1959). [CrossRef]
  27. F. Cella, E. Ronzitti, G. Vicidomini, P. P. Mondal, and A. Diaspro "Studying the illumination puzzle towards an isotropic increase of optical resolution," Proc. of SPIE 6861 (2008). [CrossRef]
  28. I. T. Young, "Quantitative Microscopy," IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. 15, 59-66 (1996). [CrossRef]
  29. E. H. K. Steltzer, "Contrast, resolution, pixilation, dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio: fundamental limits to resolution in fluorescence light microscopy," J. Microsc. 189, 15-24 (1998). [CrossRef]
  30. A. Diaspro, G. Chirico, C. Usai, P. Ramoino, and J. Dobrucki, "Photobleaching," in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J. B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.16. [CrossRef]
  31. P. J. Shaw, "Comparison of Widefield/Deconvolution and confocal microscopy for three-dimensional Imaging," in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J. B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.23. [CrossRef]
  32. E. H. K. Steltzer, "The intermediate optical system of laser-scanning confocal microscopes", in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy," J. B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006), Chap. 9.
  33. H. J. Koester, D. Baur, R. Uhl, and S. W. Hell, "Ca2+ Fluorescence Imaging with Pico- and Femtosecond Two-Photon Excitation: Signal and Photodamage," Biophys. J. 77, 2226-2236 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  34. G. H. Patterson and D. W. Piston, "Photobleaching in Two-Photon Excitation Microscopy," Biophys J. 78, 2159-2162 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  35. P. J. Verveer and T. M. Jovin, "Efficient superresolution restoration algorithms using maximum a posteriori estimations with application to fluorescence microscopy," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1696-1707 (1997). [CrossRef]
  36. K. Lange and R. Carson, "EM Reconstruction Algorithms for emission and transmission tomography," J. Comput. Assist. Tomogr. 8, 306-316 (1984). [PubMed]
  37. P. P. Mondal, G. Vicidomini, and A. Diaspro, "Image reconstruction for multiphoton fluorescence microscopy," Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 103902 (2008). [CrossRef]
  38. M. Gu, Principles of Three-Dimensional Imaging in Confocal Microscopes (World Scientific, 1996).
  39. M. Neil, R. Juskaitis, T. Wilson, Z. J. Laczik, and V. Sarafis, "Pupil-plane filters for confocal microscope point spread function engineering," Opt. Lett. 25, 245-247 (2000). [CrossRef]
  40. C. J. R. Sheppard, X. Gan, M. Gu, and M. Roy, "Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Confocal Microscopes" in Handbook of biological confocal microscopy, J. B. Pawley Ed (Springer, 2006) Chap.22. [CrossRef]
  41. V. Caorsi, E. Ronzitti, G. Vicidomini, S. Krol, G. McConnell, and A. Diaspro "FRET Measurements on Fuzzy Fluorescent Nanostructures," Microsc. Res. Tech. 70, 452-458 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  42. G. Patterson, R. N. Day, and D. Piston, "Fluorescent protein spectra," J.Cell Science 114, 837-838 (2001). [PubMed]
  43. A. Egner, C. Geisler, C. von Middendorff, H. Bock, D. Wenzel, R. Medda, M. Andresen, A.-C. Stiel, S. Jakobs, C. Eggeling, A. Schönle, and S. W. Hell, "Fluorescence nanoscopy in whole cells by asynchronous localization of photoswitching emitters," Biophys. J. 93, 3285-3290 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  44. S. T. Hess, T. P. K. Girirajan, and M. D. Mason, "Ultra-High Resolution Imaging by Fluorescence Photoactivation Localization Microscopy," Biophys. J. 91, 4258-4272 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  45. M. J. Rust, M. Bates, and X. Zhuang, "Sub-diffraction-limit imaging by stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM)," Nat. Methods 3, 793-796 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited