Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Microscopic imaging sans fluorescent dyes

The conventional method used for dying microscopic objects for spatial visualisation has been through the use of fluorescence dyes. However, a German university now offers an innovative method that does not require additional fluorescent dyes.
Microscopic imaging sans fluorescent dyes
Direct Confocal Absorption Microscopy (dCAM) is a new 3-dimensional imaging microscopy process, which directly uses the object's self-absorption through a pump-probe method. The exiting laser beam, or pump laser, changes the transmission of the microscopic sample. The probe laser then detects this change and produces an electronic evaluation. The object is also recorded three-dimensionally providing a volume image.

The new method has several advantages. Firstly, contamination with toxic fluorescence dyes does not occur. Secondly, it is not necessary to dye the sample, and thirdly, non-fluorescence dyes are used. Additional advantages include the improved colour channel separation and the fact that it is undisturbed by ambient light.

What all these advantages add up to is a higher resolution as compared to conventional methods. This method is suitable in situations where fluorescence dyes cannot be used as in the case of transparent polymers and it is also easy to incorporate into other current systems.
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