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Appl Opt. 1987 Aug 15;26(16):3239-43. doi: 10.1364/AO.26.003239.

Use of confocal imaging in the study of biological structures.


Scanning confocal microscopy offers several potential advantages for light microscope studies of biological material. Foremost amongst these is the rejection of interfering signals from out-of-focus structures, which often seriously degrade images. The degradation in image quality with epifluorescence microscopy is particularly pronounced; an unfortunate situation, as this is one of the most commonly used techniques in biological research. Confocal imaging almost completely eliminates this problem and therefore promises to have a wide application in this area. We have developed a high-speed beam scanning confocal imaging system that can be used in conjunction with a conventional microscope, and have examined a variety of biological material using this system. In all cases we have found that confocal imaging gives a marked improvement in quality over conventional techniques. viewed with epifluorescence.


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