Optical Image Scanning Microscope
The invention describes a simple way of performing Image Scanning Microscopy (ISM) purely optically. It is not necessary to reconstruct the final image from a multitude of individual acquisitions. Instead, the final image is projected directly onto the camera chip. The method is suitable for confocal microscopy as well as for 2-photon microscopy.
Image Scanning Microscopy was developed during the last years and improves the lateral resolution by a factor of 1.6 in comparison with confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (cLSM). The principal of the method is similar to how the improved resolution in structured illumination microscopy is obtained.
The newly developed, optical ISM method overcomes the above mentioned disadvantages by producing the final image directly on the camera chip. Neither the computer aided reconstruction nor the readout of the camera chip for each scan position are necessary. Consequently, the new method is significantly faster while providing the same benefits in terms of resolution.
The resolution improvement by a factor of 1.6 typically gained with ISM is obtained without limiting the versatility of the setup for example in terms of usable fluorophores. In addition, the new ISM realization offers the following advantages:
High-resolution fluorescence microscopy. The method can be used in combination with confocal laser scanning microscopy or 2-photon microscopy. Existing setups can be easily upgraded.
Both a 1-photon as well as a 2-photon realization have been constructed and tested and both showed the expected resolution enhancement and were capable of recording images with high frame rates.
Patent holder/applicant: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts