Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - 31

Shaping Light Enables 2D Microscopes to Capture 4D Data
This technique expands the capabilities of standard microscopes.
Rice University, Houston, TX
S
uper temporal resolution microscopy
allows imaging of fluorescent molecules
20 times faster than traditional lab
cameras normally allow. A general method
has been developed to let a microscope
capture 3D spatial information
along with the fourth dimension: molecular
movement over time. This will help
scientists who study dynamic processes
view where molecules of interest are located
and how fast they move; for example,
within living cells.
The method to expand the capabilities
of existing wide-field fluorescence microscopes
is based on creation of custom
phase masks - transparent, spinning
Phase mask
4f system
disks that manipulate light's phase to
change the shape of the image captured
by the microscope's camera. The shape
contains information about a molecule's
3D position in space and how it behaves
over time within the camera's field of view.
A phase mask turns the blurry blob in a
microscope image into an asset. This blob
- called a point spread function - is used
to get details about objects below the diffraction
limit that are smaller than all visible
light microscopes are able to see.
Algorithms were developed to make it
practical to design custom phase masks
that modify the shape of the point spread
function. The new phase mask design -
called a stretching lobe phase mask -
decouples space and time. When the
targets are at different depths, the lobes
stretch farther apart or come closer, and
the time information is now encoded
just in the rotation.
Tube lens
Image
plane
The method manipulates light at the
spinning phase mask to optimize the pattern
for different depths by the refractive
pattern programmed into the mask by the
algorithm. Each layer is optimized in the
algorithm for different detection depths;
all three spatial di mensions and fast time
behavior can be seen simultaneously.
For more information, contact Mike
The new method uses custom masks that transform 2D fluorescent microscopy images into 3D
movies. (Image: Landes Research Group)
Williams at mikewilliams@rice.edu; 713348-6728.
Shaping
Light with a Dynamically Tunable Smart Lens
The scalable lens can be used in both high-end systems and end-user imaging devices.
ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain
T
he importance of optical image quality
and the trend toward thinner smartphones
have pushed manufacturers to
increase the number of cameras in order
to provide cellphones with better zoom,
low-light-exposure, high-quality photography.
But adding additional lenses to a
miniaturized optical configuration and
driving light focusing with an electronic
device is difficult, particularly at small
scales or in confined spaces.
The integration of an adjustable-dynamic
zoom lens in a millimeter-thick
cellphone, miniaturized microscope, or
the remote end of a medical endoscope
Tech Briefs, June 2022
A schematic illustration of the Smartlens. (Image: Marc Montagut)
www.techbriefs.com
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Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022

Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Band1
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Band2
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Cov2
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