A fiber-optic confocal scanner for scattering tissue
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Confocal microscopy has become an important diagnostic tool in examining scattering tissues. The high resolution of confocal microscopy and its optical sectioning capabilities lend itself as a desirable modality in examining structures on the micrometer scale. While commercial confocal microscopes are readily available, they may not be suitable for examining tissues in vivo or able to accommodate large samples. The presented work offers a prototype device based on the principle of confocal microscopy that is versatile enough to be used not only as a small scale scanner, but adaptable for a wide range of situations. The automated capabilities of the scanner allow it to be used as a method of thickness measurement for tissue engineered cell sheets, in vivo examination of skin, and determining homogeneity in scattering tissues. The abilities and shortcomings of the device are investigated, and future adaptations of the device are proposed.
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