In Vivo Single-Axis Confocal Studies
A single-axis fibered confocal microscope, from Mauna Kea Technologies, has been obtained for clinical use through the instrument channel of a conventional endoscope. Topical fluorescein is used as the fluorescent contrast agent with 488-nm excitation light. A fiber bundle is scanned proximally by galvo mirrors, with each individual fiber acting as a transmission and collection pinhole for confocal imaging. Post-processing routines remove image artifacts from the honeycomb fiber bundle pattern. The highlights of this technology include a small probe diameter (1.5 mm) and a fast frame rate (12 frames per second).
This technology is extremely valuable for demonstrating proof-of-principle for in vivo confocal microscopy, and for gaining clinical experience in preparation for the miniature dual-axes confocal microscope being developed by our group.