MicroLED light source for optical sectioning structured illumination microscopy

Opt Express. 2023 May 8;31(10):16709-16718. doi: 10.1364/OE.486754.


Optical sectioning structured illumination microscopy (OS-SIM) provides optical sectioning capability in wide-field microscopy. The required illumination patterns have traditionally been generated using spatial light modulators (SLM), laser interference patterns, or digital micromirror devices (DMDs) which are too complex to implement in miniscope systems. MicroLEDs have emerged as an alternative light source for patterned illumination due to their extreme brightness capability and small emitter sizes. This paper presents a directly addressable striped microLED microdisplay with 100 rows on a flexible cable (70 cm long) for use as an OS-SIM light source in a benchtop setup. The overall design of the microdisplay is described in detail with luminance-current-voltage characterization. OS-SIM implementation with a benchtop setup shows the optical sectioning capability of the system by imaging within a 500 µm thick fixed brain slice from a transgenic mouse where oligodendrocytes are labeled with a green fluorescent protein (GFP). Results show improved contrast in reconstructed optically sectioned images of 86.92% (OS-SIM) compared with 44.31% (pseudo-widefield). MicroLED based OS-SIM therefore offers a new capability for deep tissue widefield imaging.