Deconvolution makes it clear

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Diffraction-limited microscopy presents a challenge in the laboratory because, depending on the depth desired, structures can be blurred or resolved in areas that change the location of the final image. This is where deconvolution can be a valuable tool, building on the point spread function (PSF) of the microscope and generating iterations of an image until it resembles the true state of a specimen.

Commercial software allows a variety of algorithms to be applied with confocal, multiphoton, and superresolution microscopes. These algorithms, which vary depending on the PSF and noise function, can measure planes in a 3D image or begin with the Fourier transform of an image and divide it by the Fourier transform of the PSF.

As Lauren Alvarenga of Olympus Corp. of the Americas writes in our cover story, there are advantages and disadvantages to various software packages that use deconvolution algorithms. The application may dictate speed as well as the removal of noise and shadow. The amount of data generated drives the need for computer memory, as well as the time needed to complete deconvolution.

Also featured in this issue:

Hilton B. de Aguiar of the Department of Physics at the École Normale Supérieure
in Paris also delves into microscopy. He compares spontaneous and coherent Raman imaging. These methods can provide chemical selectivity and resolution, measuring the vibrational spectrum of molecules for pharmaceutical analysis and airport security. Click here to learn how users must weigh the speed they desire against the cost and quality of the lasers they need.

Francisco E. Robles writes that quantitative phase imaging (QPI), while common, is restricted to the analysis of thin specimens. But researchers from the Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy (OIS) Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University developed a new method called quantitative oblique back-illumination microscopy (qOBM). It provides the same level of quantitative detail as QPI, but in thick scattering samples, with epi-illumination instead of transmission. Read more about this breakthrough in biomedical imaging.

When it comes to effective surgery, medical robotics allows for more precise identification of an affected area, and thus for a more defined and focused treatment, writes associate editor Joel Williams. Since the development of Intuitive Medical’s da Vinci Surgical System for laparoscopic and cardiovascular procedures, medical robots that rely on advanced optical technologies enable imaging in real time during procedures and accurate measurement of the area of operation, allowing for swift recovery. Click here.

In this month’s Biopinion, a team of researchers argues that the future of medical technology will depend on devising universal standards for biophotonics. Standards will separate the variability among persons from the differing results between instruments. The researchers assert that a universal database of optical tissue properties must be created for international use.

Enjoy the issue!

Published: November 2019

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