Multimodal nonlinear endomicroscopic imaging probe using a double-core double-clad fiber and focus-combining micro-optical concept

in: Light-Science & Applications (2021)
Pshenay-Severin, Ekaterina; Bae, Hyeonsoo; Reichwald, Karl; Matz, Gregor; Bierlich, Jörg; Kobelke, Jens; Lorenz, Adrian; Schwuchow, Anka; Meyer-Zedler, Tobias; Schmitt, Michael; Messerschmidt, Bernhard; Popp, Jürgen
Multimodal non-linear microscopy combining coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering, second harmonic generation, and two-photon excited fluorescence has proved to be a versatile and powerful tool enabling the label-free investigation of tissue structure, molecular composition, and correlation with function and disease status. For a routine medical application, the implementation of this approach into an in vivo imaging endoscope is required. However, this is a difficult task due to the requirements of a multicolour ultrashort laser delivery from a compact and robust laser source through a fiber with low losses and temporal synchronization, the efficient signal collection in epi-direction, the need for small-diameter but highly corrected endomicroobjectives of high numerical aperture and compact scanners. Here, we introduce an ultra-compact fiber-scanning endoscope platform for multimodal non-linear endomicroscopy in combination with a compact four-wave mixing based fiber laser. The heart of this fiber-scanning endoscope is an in-house custom-designed, single mode, double clad, double core pure silica fiber in combination with a 2.4mm diameter NIR-dual-waveband corrected endomicroscopic objective of 0.55 numerical aperture and 180 μm field of view for non-linear imaging, allowing a background free, low-loss, high peak power laser delivery, and an efficient signal collection in backward direction. A linear diffractive optical grating overlays pump and Stokes laser foci across the full field of view, such that diffraction-limited performance is demonstrated for tissue imaging at one frame per second with sub-micron spatial resolution and at a high transmission of 65% from the laser to the specimen using a distal resonant fiber scanner.

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