Line-scanning confocal microendoscope for nuclear morphometry imaging
Richards-Kortum, Rebecca R.
Fiber-optic endomicroscopy is a minimally invasive method to image cellular morphology in vivo. Using a coherent fiber bundle as an image relay, it allows additional imaging optics to be placed at the distal end of the fiber outside the body. In this research, we use this approach to demonstrate a compact, low-cost line-scanning confocal fluorescence microendoscope that can be constructed for <$5000 . Confocal imaging is enabled without the need for mechanical scanning by synchronizing a digital light projector with the rolling shutter of a CMOS camera. Its axial performance is characterized in comparison with a nonscanned high-resolution microendoscope. We validate the optical sectioning capability of the microendoscope by imaging a two-dimensional phantom and ex vivo mouse esophageal and colon tissues. Results show that optical sectioning using this approach improves visualization of nuclear morphometry and suggest that this low-cost line-scanning microendoscope can be used to evaluate various pathological conditions.