Apparatus that Improves Optics in Multi-Photon Laser Scanning Microscopes

SK 951

Summary of Invention

This invention consists of an apparatus that improves the optics of Laser Scanning Microscopy of biological samples by steering beams of multi-chromatic light and thereby correcting the problem of spectral dispersion.

The apparatus consists of an acousto-optical deflector and a spectrally dispersive element. The spectrally dispersive element can be a prism, a grating or a second acousto-optical deflector. The dispersive element disperses multi-chromatic light pulses in a direction opposite to that of the spectral dispersion that is caused by the acousto-optical deflector.


Acousto-optical deflectors permit laser scanning at high repetition rates, and therefore, it would be desirable to utilize them in multi-photon laser scanning microscopy. Prior to this invention, however, this has not been feasible since the ultrashort laser pulses required for multi-photon excitation at biologically tolerable average-power levels are typically multi-chromatic. The acousto-optical deflector acts as a diffraction grating and causes spectral dispersion, which negatively impacts clarity. By successfully addressing this problem, this apparatus will improve the performance of the widely used multi-photon laser scanning microscope.


This optical device, when combined with the use of multi-photon laser scanning microscopy, can be used for fast sample imaging. This apparatus gives rise to two important features:

  • flexible imaging area selection at high scan rates;
  • random access

Areas of Application

Laser scanning microscopy

Stage of Development

Ready to use

Lead Inventor

Gero Miesenbock, MD

Patent Information

U.S. patent issued:  6, 804, 000

Contact Information

Yashodhara Dash, MBBS, PhD, MBA, CLP
Director, Technology Management and Commercialization
Tel. 646-888-1073

Stage of Development

Ready to use