Chromatic confocal microscopy for multi-depth imaging of epithelial tissue. Academic Article uri icon


  • We present a novel chromatic confocal microscope capable of volumetric reflectance imaging of microstructure in non-transparent tissue. Our design takes advantage of the chromatic aberration of aspheric lenses that are otherwise well corrected. Strong chromatic aberration, generated by multiple aspheres, longitudinally disperses supercontinuum light onto the sample. The backscattered light detected with a spectrometer is therefore wavelength encoded and each spectrum corresponds to a line image. This approach obviates the need for traditional axial mechanical scanning techniques that are difficult to implement for endoscopy and susceptible to motion artifact. A wavelength range of 590-775 nm yielded a >150 µm imaging depth with ~3 µm axial resolution. The system was further demonstrated by capturing volumetric images of buccal mucosa. We believe these represent the first microstructural images in non-transparent biological tissue using chromatic confocal microscopy that exhibit long imaging depth while maintaining acceptable resolution for resolving cell morphology. Miniaturization of this optical system could bring enhanced speed and accuracy to endomicroscopic in vivo volumetric imaging of epithelial tissue.

author list (cited authors)

  • Olsovsky, C., Shelton, R., Carrasco-Zevallos, O., Applegate, B. E., & Maitland, K. C.

complete list of authors

  • Olsovsky, Cory||Shelton, Ryan||Carrasco-Zevallos, Oscar||Applegate, Brian E||Maitland, Kristen C

publication date

  • January 1, 2016 11:11 AM