Design of a confocal fluorescence microscope - Space saving and affordable
Although confocal fluorescence laser scanning microscopy is a widely used technique in biology, these microscopes are at present uncommon in medical diagnostics. However laser scanning fluorescence microscopy is a non-invasive imaging technique that allows depth resolved investigations of skin disorders. High costs and large outline are factors which impede the establishment of this technology in medical practice. To overcome this obstacle, we have designed a portable confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscope and realized an optical demonstration set-up, offering a field of view of 500m x 500m. The microscope is based on a dual axis MEMS mirror where the confocal character of the system resides in the use of the same path for illumination and detection with the rejection of out-of-focus light by a pinhole. Illumination is provided by a laser and the fluorescence light is separated from the illumination light by a filter, before being detected. The ability to perfo rm cross-sectional imaging of fluorescence specimen will be given by an integrated z-shifter.