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Microscope Lens Innovation Enables Simultaneous Imaging

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Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have designed a microscope lens that is able to take both quantitative phase images and bright-field images in a single measurement.

Under the supervision of professor Wolfgang Heidrich, the researchers developed a microscope lens that incorporates a wavefront sensor, a custom-designed optical sensor able to encode the wavefront, or phase, information into intensity images.
Quantitative phase images reveal more details than classical microscopy images. The KAUST technique captures both bright-field images (top) and phase images (bottom) in a single measurement. Courtesy of KAUST.
Quantitative phase images reveal more details than classical microscopy images. The KAUST technique captures both bright-field images (top) and phase images (bottom) in a single measurement. Courtesy of KAUST.

The phase-contrast image is then reconstructed with a computer algorithm that was developed to numerically retrieve quantitative phase from an image pair: a calibration image obtained without the sample, and a measurement image obtained with the sample in place.

The approach is streamlined compared to other methods, which often require expensive and complicated setups including specialized light sources or long imaging durations.

“Our method allows snapshot acquisition of high-resolution amplitude bright-field and accurate quantitative phase images via affordable simple optics, common white-light source, and fast computations at video rates in real time,” Heidrich said. “It is the first time, to our knowledge, that all these advantages are combined into one technique.”

The researchers are working on incorporating the wavefront sensor into a commercial device to improve the performance of microscopy imaging. The innovation allows and streamlines the ability to distinguish features in samples that absorb very little light.

Published: November 2019
Glossary
quantitative phase imaging
Quantitative phase imaging (QPI) is an advanced imaging technique used in microscopy to measure and analyze the optical phase information of transparent specimens. Unlike traditional brightfield microscopy, which relies on the absorption of light, QPI directly captures and quantifies the phase changes induced by a specimen as light passes through it. This enables the visualization of transparent structures and provides valuable quantitative information about biological and non-biological...
Research & TechnologyMicroscopyImagingbright-field imagingquantitative phase imagingKAUSTwavefront sensorBioScan

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