Miniaturized fiber-coupled confocal fluorescence microscope with an electrowetting variable focus lens using no moving parts

Opt Lett. 2015 Jun 1;40(11):2553-6. doi: 10.1364/OL.40.002553.


We report a miniature, lightweight fiber-coupled confocal fluorescence microscope that incorporates an electrowetting variable focus lens to provide axial scanning for full three-dimensional (3D) imaging. Lateral scanning is accomplished by coupling our device to a laser-scanning confocal microscope through a coherent imaging fiber-bundle. The optical components of the device are combined in a custom 3D-printed adapter with an assembled weight of <2 g that can be mounted onto the head of a mouse. Confocal sectioning provides an axial resolution of ∼12 μm and an axial scan range of ∼80 μm. The lateral field-of-view is 300 μm, and the lateral resolution is 1.8 μm. We determined these parameters by imaging fixed sections of mouse neuronal tissue labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and fluorescent bead samples in agarose gel. To demonstrate viability for imaging intact tissue, we resolved multiple optical sections of ex vivo mouse olfactory nerve fibers expressing yellow fluorescent protein (YFP).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrowetting*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Lenses*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / instrumentation*
  • Miniaturization / instrumentation*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Optical Fibers*