Richardson-Lucy algorithm with total variation regularization for 3D confocal microscope deconvolution

Microsc Res Tech. 2006 Apr;69(4):260-6. doi: 10.1002/jemt.20294.


Confocal laser scanning microscopy is a powerful and popular technique for 3D imaging of biological specimens. Although confocal microscopy images are much sharper than standard epifluorescence ones, they are still degraded by residual out-of-focus light and by Poisson noise due to photon-limited detection. Several deconvolution methods have been proposed to reduce these degradations, including the Richardson-Lucy iterative algorithm, which computes maximum likelihood estimation adapted to Poisson statistics. As this algorithm tends to amplify noise, regularization constraints based on some prior knowledge on the data have to be applied to stabilize the solution. Here, we propose to combine the Richardson-Lucy algorithm with a regularization constraint based on Total Variation, which suppresses unstable oscillations while preserving object edges. We show on simulated and real images that this constraint improves the deconvolution results as compared with the unregularized Richardson-Lucy algorithm, both visually and quantitatively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods*