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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Simulation of a theta line-scanning confocal microscope
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Paper Abstract

We describe a 2-D computational model of the optical propagation of coherent light from a laser diode within human skin to better understand the performance of a confocal reflectance theta microscope. The simulation uses finite-difference time domain (FDTD) computations to solve Maxwell's equations in a synthetic skin model that includes melanin, mitochondria, and nuclei. The theta line-scanning confocal microscope configuration experiences more localized decreases in the signal than the confocal common-path point-scanning microscope. We hypothesize that these decreases result from the bistatic imaging configuration, the imaging geometry, and the inhomogeneity of the index of refraction of the skin. All these factors result in the source path having aberrations different than those of the receiver path. The model predicts signal decreases that are somewhat greater than those seen in experiments. New details on the reflection from a spherical object show that imaging with the theta line scanner leads to somewhat different results than would be seen with a common-path point scanner. The model is used to optimize the design of the theta line-scanning confocal microscope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2007
PDF: 9 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 12(6) 064020 doi: 10.1117/1.2821425
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 12, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Blair Simon, Northeastern Univ. (United States)
Charles A. DiMarzio, Northeastern Univ. (United States)


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