Throughput-Speed Product Augmentation for Scanning Fiber-Optic Two-Photon Endomicroscopy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging








Biomedical optical imaging; biophotonics; endomicroscope; in vivo imaging; nonlinear optics; optical microscopy; two-photon microscopy


Compactness, among several others, is one unique and very attractive feature of a scanning fiber-optic two-photon endomicroscope. To increase the scanning area and the total number of resolvable pixels (i.e., the imaging throughput), it typically requires a longer cantilever which, however, leads to a much undesired, reduced scanning speed (and thus imaging frame rate). Herein we introduce a new design strategy for a fiber-optic scanning endomicroscope, where the overall numerical aperture (NA) or beam focusing power is distributed over two stages: 1) a mode-field focuser engineered at the tip of a double-clad fiber (DCF) cantilever to pre-amplify the single-mode core NA, and 2) a micro objective of a lower magnification (i.e., ∼ 2× in this design) to achieve final tight beam focusing. This new design enables either an 9-fold increase in imaging area (throughput) or an 3-fold improvement in imaging frame rate when compared to traditional fiber-optic endomicroscope designs. The performance of an as-designed endomicroscope of an enhanced throughput-speed product was demonstrated by two representative applications: (1) high-resolution imaging of an internal organ (i.e., mouse kidney) in vivo over a large field of view without using any fluorescent contrast agents, and (2) real-time neural imaging by visualizing dendritic calcium dynamics in vivo with sub-second temporal resolution in GCaMP6m-expressing mouse brain. This cascaded NA amplification strategy is universal and can be readily adapted to other types of fiber-optic scanners in compact linear or nonlinear endomicroscopes.