Technology ID

Resolution Doubling with Digital Confocal Microscopy

Lead Inventor
Parekh, Sapun (National Science Foundation)
Shroff, Hari (NIBIB)
York, Andrew
Combs, Christian (NHLBI)
Research Materials
Development Stages
Pre-Clinical (in vitro)
Research Products
Research Equipment
Lead IC

This technology includes a microscopy method that reduces the speed penalty at least 1000-fold, while retaining resolution improvement. A Digital mirror device (DMD) or sweptfield confocal unit is used to create hundreds to thousands of excitation foci that are imaged to a sample mounted in a conventional microscope and record the resulting emissions on an array detector. Detection of each confocal spot is done in our proprietary software, as is the processing and deconvolution that is used for a 2x resolution enhancement. Our method provides some optical sectioning, as we can implement a variable pinhole for each confocal spot in software - thus offering advantages over existing 2D resolution-doubling structured illumination approaches that are commercially available. Furthermore, as the pinholes are 'digital' there is no loss in light due to the extra optics and pinholes contained in commercial sweptfield confocal microscopes.

Commercial Applications
Improvement of currently available confocal microscopes.

Competitive Advantages
While several commercial structured illumination (SI) microscopes exist, they are expensive and are limited in depth to samples less than ~10 microns. The advantage of our system is that it can be implemented on existing hardware, and/or can be constructed with many fewer components, as much of the hardware burden of other SI approaches is 'off-loaded' onto software.
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