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J Microsc. 2008 Jul;231(Pt 1):59-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2008.02017.x.

Quantitative image correction and calibration for confocal fluorescence microscopy using thin reference layers and SIPchart-based calibration procedures.

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1
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 316, 1098 SM Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The fluorescence intensity image of an axially integrated through-focus series of a thin standardized uniform fluorescent layer can be used for image intensity correction and calibration in sectioning microscopy. This intensity image is in fact available from the earlier introduced Sectioned Imaging Property (SIP) charts (Brakenhoff et al., 2005). It is shown that the integrated intensity of a z-stack from a biological sample, imaged under identical conditions as the layer, can be calibrated in terms of fluorescence layer units of the calibration layer. The imaging after such calibration becomes, as a first approximation, independent of the microscope system and imaging conditions. This is demonstrated on axially integrated images of standard fluorescent beads and standard BPAE Fluorocells. Corrections on the microscope imaging conditions include shading effects, imaging with different magnifications and objectives, and using different microscope systems. It is also shown that with the present approach the actual underlying three-dimensional (3D) fluorescence data set itself can be corrected for variations in point spread function (PSF) imaging efficiency over the imaging data cube. Realizing such calibration between imaging conditions or systems requires basically only the 2D fluorescer molecule density of the reference layers and the section distances with which the layer data are collected.

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