Abstract

This paper presents the prototype of a hypodermic fiber-optics microscope. The instrument permits the researcher to observe tissues beneath the skin of the living animal or human, microscopically, through a hypodermic needle. The device utilizes fiber optics for image transmission, making it possible to observe through needles with inside diameters of 0.81 mm. Special features of this device include a self-contained illumination system within the same needle as the imaging bundle, and a unique microscope eyepiece which corrects for distortion caused by the necessary bevel at the far end of the needle. The resolving power of the present system is about 10 μ. A major problem is the definition of structures from each other within living tissue. Experiments are under way with various vital stains to improve this definition. Successful observations to date have been made of blood vessels and muscle fibers. Possible applications of the instrument are discussed.

© 1964 Optical Society of America

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