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Adaptive optics for enhanced signal in CARS microscopy

Wright, A.J. and Poland, S.P. and Girkin, J.M. and Freudiger, C.W. and Evans, C.L. and Xie, X.S. (2007) Adaptive optics for enhanced signal in CARS microscopy. Optics Express, 15 (26). pp. 18209-18219. ISSN 1094-4087

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We report the use of adaptive optics with coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy for label-free deep tissue imaging based on molecular vibrational spectroscopy. The setup employs a deformable membrane mirror and a random search optimization algorithm to improve signal intensity and image quality at large sample depths. We demonstrate the ability to correct for both system and sample-induced aberrations in test samples as well as in muscle tissue in order to enhance the CARS signal. The combined system and sample-induced aberration correction increased the signal by an average factor of ~3x for the test samples at a depth of 700 μm and ~6x for muscle tissue at a depth of 260μm. The enhanced signal and higher penetration depth offered by adaptive optics will augment CARS microscopy as an in vivo and in situ biomedical imaging modality.