Pupil engineering in a miniaturized fluorescent microscopy platform using binary diffractive optics
Greene, Joseph Lewis
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There is an unprecedented need in neuroscience and medical research for the precise imaging of individual neurons and their interconnectivity in an effort to achieve a more complete understanding of neurological illness and cognitive growth. While several imaging architectures successfully detect active neural tissue, fluorescent imaging through head-mounted microscopes is becoming a standard method of imaging neural circuitry in freely behaving animals. At Boston University, the Gardner Group developed a miniaturized, open-source, single-photon ‘finch-scope’ to spur rapid prototyping in head-mounted miniscope technology. While experimentally convenient, the finch-scope and other miniscope platforms are limited by their native depth of field and may only detect a thin layer of active neurons in a neurological volume. In this Master’s Thesis Project, I will investigate utilizing optical phase masks integrated in the Fourier plane of the finch-scope to invoke a less-diffractive Bessel point spread function. Next, I will experimentally justify the extended depth of field nature of these phase masks by imaging the axial profile of a 10μm fluorescent pinhole object with a modified finch-scope.