Adaptive Optics

Project of Tim van Werkhoven (supervision Prof. Gerritsen and Prof. Keller)

Microscopy has become increasingly more important in biological and biomedical work. This is to a great extent due to the development of advanced imaging methods such as confocal microscopy and multi-photon excitation microscopy that provide 3D imaging in (optically thick) specimens. At present, multi-photon excitation microscopy is the technique of choice for high-resolution in-vivo imaging. Unfortunately, the use of these techniques is seriously hampered by specimen-induced aberrations that result in reduced depth penetration, loss of spatial resolution, and increased phototoxicity.

We will focus on the development of fast, active compensation methods for specimen-induced wavefront aberrations. High compensation speeds will be realized by using adaptive optics (AO) in combination with smart predictive algorithms that take into account all system properties including the scanning nature of the acquisition, the dynamic properties of the deformable mirror based AO and the nature of the optical optimization. We will validate the method in tissue imaging experiments including in-vivo imaging of skin, in-vivo tumor mouse models and isolated arteries.

tissue_aberrationsLeft: perfect focus of a plane wavefront into a diffraction limited spot. Middle: plane wavefront is aberrated by a turbid sample. Right: by pre-distorting the incoming wavefront we aim to counteract the tissue-induced aberration and restore the focus.