Confocal microscopy

confocal microscopeconfocal laser scanning microscopyconfocalconfocal laser scanning microscopeLaser scanning confocal microscopyconfocal microscopeslaser scanning microscopeLaser scanning microscopy confocal microscopy systemscon-focal laser scanning microscope
Confocal microscopy, most frequently confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) or laser confocal scanning microscopy (LCSM), is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast of a micrograph by means of using a spatial pinhole to block out-of-focus light in image formation.wikipedia
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Optical resolution

resolutionresolvedresolve
Confocal microscopy, most frequently confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) or laser confocal scanning microscopy (LCSM), is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast of a micrograph by means of using a spatial pinhole to block out-of-focus light in image formation.
In confocal laser-scanned microscopes, the full-width half-maximum (FWHM) of the point spread function is often used to avoid the difficulty of measuring the Airy disc.

Fluorescence microscope

fluorescence microscopyfluorescent microscopyepifluorescence microscopy
The principle of confocal imaging was patented in 1957 by Marvin Minsky and aims to overcome some limitations of traditional wide-field fluorescence microscopes.
"Fluorescence microscope" refers to any microscope that uses fluorescence to generate an image, whether it is a more simple set up like an epifluorescence microscope or a more complicated design such as a confocal microscope, which uses optical sectioning to get better resolution of the fluorescence image.

Marvin Minsky

MinskyMarvin L. Minskyartificial intelligence
The principle of confocal imaging was patented in 1957 by Marvin Minsky and aims to overcome some limitations of traditional wide-field fluorescence microscopes.
Minsky's inventions include the first head-mounted graphical display (1963) and the confocal microscope (1957, a predecessor to today's widely used confocal laser scanning microscope).

Optical sectioning

clearing agentOptical clearing agent
Capturing multiple two-dimensional images at different depths in a sample enables the reconstruction of three-dimensional structures (a process known as optical sectioning) within an object.
Confocal microscopy uses a scanning point or points of light to illuminate the sample.

Yokogawa Electric

YokogawaYokogawa Electric CorporationYokogawa Electric Works
Yokogawa Electric invented this technology in 1992.

Endomicroscopy

microendoscopes
Research into CLSM techniques for endoscopic procedures (endomicroscopy) is also showing promise.
It generally refers to fluorescence confocal microscopy, although multi-photon microscopy and optical coherence tomography have also been adapted for endoscopic use.

Cell biology

cytologycell biologistcellular biology
CLSM is widely used in numerous biological science disciplines, from cell biology and genetics to microbiology and developmental biology.

Light sheet fluorescence microscopy

light sheet microscopesillumination microscopylight sheet fluorescence microscopes
From this evolved the single plane illumination microscope.
Also the good optical sectioning capability reduces the background signal and thus creates images with higher contrast, comparable to confocal microscopy.

4Pi microscope

4Pi microscopy4 Pi microscopy4Pi-microscopy
One technique of overcoming this is 4Pi microscopy where incident and or emitted light are allowed to interfere from both above and below the sample to reduce the volume of the ellipsoid.
With it the typical range of the axial resolution of 500–700 nm can be improved to 100–150 nm, which corresponds to an almost spherical focal spot with 5–7 times less volume than that of standard confocal microscopy.

Point spread function

PSFpoint-spread functionhere
In contrast, a confocal microscope uses point illumination (see Point Spread Function) and a pinhole in an optically conjugate plane in front of the detector to eliminate out-of-focus signal – the name "confocal" stems from this configuration.
It is a useful concept in Fourier optics, astronomical imaging, medical imaging, electron microscopy and other imaging techniques such as 3D microscopy (like in confocal laser scanning microscopy) and fluorescence microscopy.

Super-resolution microscopy

super resolution microscopystochastic optical reconstruction microscopySuper-Resolution Light Microscopy
Besides this technique a broad variety of other (not confocal based) super-resolution techniques are available like PALM, (d)STORM, SIM, and so on.
Among the latter are techniques that improve the resolution only modestly (up to about a factor of two) beyond the diffraction-limit like the confocal microscope (with closed pinhole), or confocal microscopy aided with computational methods such as deconvolution or detector-based pixel reassignment (e.g. re-scan microscopy, pixel reassignment ), the 4Pi microscope, and also structured illumination microscopy technologies like SIM and SMI.

3D optical data storage

CLSM is used as the data retrieval mechanism in some 3D optical data storage systems and has helped determine the age of the Magdalen papyrus.
This method is essentially confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Nipkow disk

Nipkow discdisc-scanningdisk with a spiral of apertures
Spinning-disk (Nipkow disk) confocal microscopes use a series of moving pinholes on a disc to scan spots of light.
Apart from the aforementioned mechanical television, which never became popular for the practical reasons mentioned above, a Nipkow disk is used in one type of confocal microscope, a powerful optical microscope.

Colin Sheppard

Colin J. R. SheppardCJR Sheppard
In 1977 Colin J. R. Sheppard and Amarjyoti Choudhury, Oxford, UK, published a theoretical analysis of confocal and laser-scanning microscopes.
His areas of research are in optics, microscopy and imaging, including confocal and multiphoton microscopy, diffraction, 3D imaging and reconstruction, superresolution, beam propagation, and pulse propagation.

Leica Microsystems

LeicaLeitz
Zeiss, Leitz and Cambridge Instruments had no interest in a commercial production.
Product categories include Virtual microscopes, Light microscopes, products for Confocal Microscopy, Surgical Microscopes, Stereo Microscopes & Macroscopes, Digital microscopes, Microscope Software, Microscope Cameras, Electron microscope Sample Preparation Equipment

IRENE (technology)

IRENE
The IRENE system makes use of confocal microscopy for optical scanning and recovery of damaged historical audio.
The IRENE system uses a high-powered confocal microscope that follows the groove path as the disc or cylinder rotates underneath it, thereby obtaining detailed images of the audio information.

Two-photon excitation microscopy

two-photon microscopytwo-photonmultiphoton
The successor MRC 600 was later the basis for the development of the first two-photon-fluorescent microscope developed 1990 at Cornell University.
Two-photon excitation can be a superior alternative to confocal microscopy due to its deeper tissue penetration, efficient light detection, and reduced photobleaching.

John Graham White

John WhiteJohn G. White
In the mid-1980s, William Bradshaw Amos and John Graham White and colleagues working at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge built the first confocal beam scanning microscope.
With collaborators Sydney Brenner, John Sulston and others, White co-developed confocal microscopy and mapped the complete nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans, consisting of 302 neurons and over 7000 synapses.

Optical microscope

light microscopeoptical microscopycompound microscope

Christoph Cremer

In 1978, the brothers Christoph Cremer and Thomas Cremer published a design for a confocal laser-scanning-microscope using fluorescent excitation with electronic autofocus.
It is this plan for the construction of a confocal laser scanning microscope (CSLM), which for the first time combined the laser scanning method with the 3D detection of biological objects labeled with fluorescent markers that earned Cremer his professorial position at the University of Heidelberg.

Amarjyoti Choudhury

Dr. Amarjyoti Choudhury
In 1977 Colin J. R. Sheppard and Amarjyoti Choudhury, Oxford, UK, published a theoretical analysis of confocal and laser-scanning microscopes.
It is probably the first publication using the technical term 'confocal microscopy'.

Carl Zeiss AG

ZeissCarl ZeissZeiss Ikon
Zeiss, Leitz and Cambridge Instruments had no interest in a commercial production.

STED microscopy

stimulated emission depletion microscopySTEDStimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy
There are confocal variants that achieve resolution below the diffraction limit such as stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED).
Another study used a homemade STED microscopy and DNA binding fluorescent dye, measured lengths of DNA fragments much more precisely than conventional measurement with confocal microscopy.

Charge modulation spectroscopy

Charge modulation microscopy (CMM) is a new technology which combines the confocal microscopy with charge modulation spectroscopy.

Contrast (vision)

contrastcolor contrastcontrasts
Confocal microscopy, most frequently confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) or laser confocal scanning microscopy (LCSM), is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast of a micrograph by means of using a spatial pinhole to block out-of-focus light in image formation.