Journal of Biomedical OpticsDigital adaptive optics line-scanning confocal imaging system
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A digital adaptive optics line-scanning confocal imaging (DAOLCI) system is proposed by applying digital holographic adaptive optics to a digital form of line-scanning confocal imaging system. In DAOLCI, each line scan is recorded by a digital hologram, which allows access to the complex optical field from one slice of the sample through digital holography. This complex optical field contains both the information of one slice of the sample and the optical aberration of the system, thus allowing us to compensate for the effect of the optical aberration, which can be sensed by a complex guide star hologram. After numerical aberration compensation, the corrected optical fields of a sequence of line scans are stitched into the final corrected confocal image. In DAOLCI, a numerical slit is applied to realize the confocality at the sensor end. The width of this slit can be adjusted to control the image contrast and speckle noise for scattering samples. DAOLCI dispenses with the hardware pieces, such as Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor and deformable mirror, and the closed-loop feedbacks adopted in the conventional adaptive optics confocal imaging system, thus reducing the optomechanical complexity and cost. Numerical simulations and proof-of-principle experiments are presented that demonstrate the feasibility of this idea.