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1 Janelia Publications

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    02/01/10 | Adaptive optics via pupil segmentation for high-resolution imaging in biological tissues. (With commentary)
    Ji N, Milkie DE, Betzig E
    Nature Methods. 2010 Feb;7:141-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1411

    Biological specimens are rife with optical inhomogeneities that seriously degrade imaging performance under all but the most ideal conditions. Measuring and then correcting for these inhomogeneities is the province of adaptive optics. Here we introduce an approach to adaptive optics in microscopy wherein the rear pupil of an objective lens is segmented into subregions, and light is directed individually to each subregion to measure, by image shift, the deflection faced by each group of rays as they emerge from the objective and travel through the specimen toward the focus. Applying our method to two-photon microscopy, we could recover near-diffraction-limited performance from a variety of biological and nonbiological samples exhibiting aberrations large or small and smoothly varying or abruptly changing. In particular, results from fixed mouse cortical slices illustrate our ability to improve signal and resolution to depths of 400 microm.

    Commentary: Introduces a new, zonal approach to adaptive optics (AO) in microscopy suitable for highly inhomogeneous and/or scattering samples such as living tissue. The method is unique in its ability to handle large amplitude aberrations (>20 wavelengths), including spatially complex aberrations involving high order modes beyond the ability of most AO actuators to correct. As befitting a technique designed for in vivo fluorescence imaging, it is also photon efficient.
    Although used here in conjunction with two photon microscopy to demonstrate correction deep into scattering tissue, the same principle of pupil segmentation might be profitably adapted to other point-scanning or widefield methods. For example, plane illumination microscopy of multicellular specimens is often beset by substantial aberrations, and all far-field superresolution methods are exquisitely sensitive to aberrations.

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