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Researchers have applied adaptive optics (AO), a technology that was originally conceived for telescopes, to high-resolution microscopy to overcome the problems caused by specimen-induced aberrations. This technology promises to extend the capabilities of microscopes to the imaging of challenging biological samples. These microscopes scan a laser spot through the specimen, building the image point-by-point.The properties of specimen-induced aberrations contrast with those experienced by astronomical AO systems. The aberrations caused by atmospheric turbulence are dynamic and require fast adaptation of the aberration correction in order to maintain image quality. The role of an AO system is to dynamically measure and correct aberrations, which are is updated as the input changes. Two types of wavefront correctors used in adaptive microscopes include deformable mirrors and liquid crystal spatial light modulators.

Original publication




Journal article


Optics and Photonics News

Publication Date





22 - 29