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Home | DTI | 2006–07 funded proposals | Peter A. Santi, James Leger, Curt Morrison

Initiatives in Digital Technology: 2006–07 Funded Proposals

Peter A. Santi, James Leger, Curt Morrison

Development of a Thin-Sheet Laser Illuminator for Optical Sectioning

This project proposes to develop a thin-sheet, laser illumination device that can be used with a fluorescent light microscope in order to produce optical sections of thick tissues. A z-series stack of well-aligned images are necessary for 3D reconstruction of tissues to better understand their complex anatomical and functional relationships. This device will fill a niche between the relatively lower resolution microMRI and microCT, which is used for thick tissues and whole organs, and the higher resolution of confocal/ multiphoton microscopy, which can only be used for thin tissues. A device prototype was previously constructed using a cylindrical lens to produce the light sheet. However, its performance was not optimal and we propose to replace the cylindrical lens with a diffractive lens for improved resolution and contrast of the images. Construction and testing of the new device will be performed by faculty, staff and a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science/Engineering and the Nano Fabrication Center. Performance testing using a whole mouse cochlea will be performed by faculty and an undergraduate student in the Cochlear Anatomy Laboratory of the Department of Otolaryngology. Fitting of the device to a microscope and collection of images will be performed by a collaboration with staff from Leeds Precision Instruments, Inc. Leeds will provide staff time and an Olympus light microscope with a digital camera, and a motorized zstage in order to collect a stack images of the cochlea. This new, potentially patentable, thin-sheet laser illuminator should offer outstanding performance over published, but not yet commercially available technology for the efficient, cost effective, collection of high resolution, stack of images from thick tissues.

Contact Information

Digital Technology Center

499 Walter Library, 117 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: (612) 624-9510

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