Simulation of specimen-induced aberrations for objects with spherical and cylindrical symmetry

J. Microsc., Vol. 215, Pt. 3, September 2004, 271-280. M. Schwertner, M.J. Booth & T. Wilson.

Wavefront aberrations caused by the refractive index structureof the specimen are known to compromise signal intensityand three-dimensional resolution in confocal and multiphotonmicroscopy. However, adaptive optics can measure and correctspecimen-induced aberrations. For the design of an adaptiveoptics system, information on the type and amount of the aberration is required. We have previously described an interferometricset-up capable of measuring specimen-induced aberrationsand a method for the extraction of the Zernike mode content.In this paper we have modelled specimen-induced aberrationscaused by spherical and cylindrical objects using a ray tracingmethod. The Zernike mode content of the wavefronts wasthen extracted from the simulated wavefronts and comparedwith experimental results. Aberrations for a simple model of anoocyte cell consisting of two spherical regions and for a modelof a well-characterized optical fibre are calculated. This simplemodel gave Zernike mode data that are in good agreementwith experimental results.
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