Abstract

A new principle of tomographic optical microscope imaging has been developed that uses a computerized reconstruction algorithm and a transmission optical microscope. A conventional transmission microscope with a rotationally oblique illumination system provides projections of a thick specimen in various directions within the numerical aperture of the objective lens. The images obtained are combined to reconstruct a three-dimensional distribution of the sample by inverting the imaging system in a computer. The three-dimensional optical transfer function of this projection system is analyzed, and it is found that this system is strictly angularly band limited. For improving the spatial resolution we utilize a priori knowledge of the spatial extent of the object as the support constraint. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate the tomographic imaging capability of this principle.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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