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Proceedings Paper

Novel design for a confocal endoscope
Author(s): Russell B. Pillers; Nelson G. Publicover
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Paper Abstract

Confocal imaging in an endoscopic format is currently under-utilized as a clinical investigative tool. This is due mainly to the complex, sensitive and costly scanning systems required to produce images. We hypothesize that design potential exists for an endoscope without any type of scanning system and that consequently can simultaneously acquire an entire confocal image frame. Our design exploits the parallel structure of fiber-optic image guides to eliminate all scanning hardware. The design is based upon developing a novel method to form a miniscule aperture on the end of each fiber in an image bundle. This process creates out-of-focus light rejection space between each fiber without changing the fiber spacing or the original outer diameter of the image guide. Our modified image guide can then be incorporated into an essentially typical endoscopic system. Using parallel apertures, a confocal endoscope or "conscope" can acquire images at a rate limited only by light intensity and the acquisition rate of a camera. The research presented in this paper shows the effects of adjusting pinhole diameter on confocal performance. The marriage of endoscopes, confocal imaging, parallel optical fibers, and the conscope design offers life science an ability to quickly observe deep, in-vivo cellular structures in their natural state. Although originally intended for endoscope applications, our design may benefit other forms of microscopy as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 2006
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6082, Endoscopic Microscopy, 608203 (13 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.644956
Show Author Affiliations
Russell B. Pillers, Univ. of Nevada, Reno (United States)
Nelson G. Publicover, Univ. of Nevada, Reno (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6082:
Endoscopic Microscopy
Guillermo J. Tearney; Thomas D. Wang, Editor(s)

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