Fast widefield techniques for fluorescence and phase endomicroscopy
Endomicroscopy is a recent development in biomedical optics which gives researchers and physicians microscope-resolution views of intact tissue to complement macroscopic visualization during endoscopy screening. This thesis presents HiLo endomicroscopy and oblique back-illumination endomicroscopy, fast widefield imaging techniques with fluorescence and phase contrast, respectively. Fluorescence imaging in thick tissue is often hampered by strong out-of-focus background signal. Laser scanning confocal endomicroscopy has been developed for optically-sectioned imaging free from background, but reliance on mechanical scanning fundamentally limits the frame rate and represents significant complexity and expense. HiLo is a fast, simple, widefield fluorescence imaging technique which rejects out-of-focus background signal without the need for scanning. It works by acquiring two images of the sample under uniform and structured illumination and synthesizing an optically sectioned result with real-time image processing. Oblique back-illumination microscopy (OBM) is a label-free technique which allows, for the first time, phase gradient imaging of sub-surface morphology in thick scattering tissue with a reflection geometry. OBM works by back-illuminating the sample with the oblique diffuse reflectance from light delivered via off-axis optical fibers. The use of two diametrically opposed illumination fibers allows simultaneous and independent measurement of phase gradients and absorption contrast. Video-rate single-exposure operation using wavelength multiplexing is demonstrated.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University