May. 07, 2019

Bessel Beams Enable 3D Microscopy

A Special Fanning out of Laser Beams Makes it Possible to Scan 3D Images at High Frame Rates

  • Image credit: lightpoet / ShutterstockImage credit: lightpoet / Shutterstock

New publication by caesar scientists Andres Flores Valle and Johannes Seelig in Optics Express: A special fanning out of laser beams makes it possible to scan 3D images at high frame rates.

Fluorescence microscopy is a common procedure to visualize active neurons. The process is limited. The images created with it only depict a flat plane in the brain. But how do you use a fluorescence microscope to study those structures that also extend into the deep and whose activity takes place on several levels at the same time? In order to make such events visible, caesar scientists Andres Flores Valle and Johannes Seelig developed a new principle.

His trick: the application of Bessel beams. For this purpose, the laser light is modified so that it focuses not only in one point, but along a very fine beam. These rays are able to illuminate several cutting planes at the same time.

Four such Bessel beams were used by the scientists to capture structures spatially in a very short sequence from slightly different angles. Special algorithms, similar to those methods, e.g. In computed tomography, three-dimensional structures are reconstructed from these images. The principle promises a new look at the dynamics of spatially extended systems, e.g. Groups of nerve cells in the brain. 

Original publication:
Flores Valle, A., Seelig, J.D.: Two-photon Bessel beam tomography for fast volume imaging, Opt. Express 27, 12147-12162 (2019) DOI: 10.1364/OE.27.012147

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