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A new wide field-of-view confocal imaging system and its applications in drug discovery and pathology

confocal imaging in reflection and fluorescence modes. In addition, an RGB brightfield (non-confocal) imaging mode is also available.

2.1. Laser Scan Lens

One of the most important and expensive components of the wide field-of-view imaging system is the custom- designed laser scan lens. Currently, two proprietary scan lenses have been designed and built, with specimen magnification, excitation NA and fluorescence collection NA of 10X/0.20/0.35 and 40X/0.50/0.50, respectively. They have a working distance, lateral and axial resolution of 6mm/2μm/25μm and 3mm/0.5μm/4μm, respectively.

The laser scan lenses are color-corrected, infinity-corrected, telecentric and F*Theta (or F *Θ) lenses with the entrance pupil outside the lens system. A infinity-corrected lens allows greater flexibility in the imaging system design. Various dichroic beamsplitters and other accessories can be readily inserted into the collimated beam. With the entrance pupil located outside the scan lens, it is possible to use a scanning mirror of the smallest size to fill the entrance pupil with the excitation beam. On the contrary, the entrance pupil of a standard microscope objective is located inside the lens system. If used for scanning imaging, it is necessary to use relay optics to place the pivot point of the scanning beam at the entrance pupil position.50

The laser scan lens has telecentric and F*Theta properties, which are essential for optimal imaging flat specimens and performing linear scan. In a telecentric scan lens, the chief ray always emerges parallel to the optical axis during the scan, i.e., the chief ray of the converging cone of light always is perpendicular to the specimen plane/focal plane. Telecentricy guarantees that the optical measurement is independent of the imaging position acros
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