London, Feb 18 : Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed a technology that can make three-dimensional imaging quicker, easier, less expensive and more accurate.
Gary Brooker of Johns Hopkins University, co-inventor, said that the new technology, dubbed FINCH, for Fresnel incoherent correlation holography, could have implications in medical applications such as endoscopy, ophthalmology, CT scanning, X-ray imaging and ultrasounds
He said that FINCH might also be applicable to homeland security screening, 3-D photography and 3-D video.
A report will appear in the March issue of Nature Photonics, presenting the first demonstration of this technology with a 3-D microscope called a FINCHSCOPE, and will be available on the Nature Photonics Web site on Feb. 17.
"Normally, 3-D imaging requires taking multiple images on multiple planes and then reconstructing the images," Nature quoted Brooker, director of the Johns Hopkins University Microscopy Center on the university's Montgomery County Campus, as saying.
"This is a slow process that is restricted to microscope objectives that have less than optimal resolving power. For this reason, holography currently is not widely applied to the field of 3-D fluorescence microscopic imaging," he added.
The researchers said that the FINCH technology and the FINCHSCOPE uses microscope objectives with the highest resolving power, a spatial light modulator, a charge-coupled device camera and some simple filters to enable the acquisition of 3-D microscopic images without the need for scanning multiple planes.
Brooker and co-inventor Joseph Rosen, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, said report on a use of the FINCHSCOPE to take a 3-D still image, but moving 3-D images are coming.
"With traditional 3-D imaging, you cannot capture a moving object. With the FINCHSCOPE, you can photograph multiple planes at once, enabling you to capture a 3-D image of a moving object. Researchers now will be able to track biological events happening quickly in cells," Brooker said.
Rosen said: "In addition, the FINCH technique shows great promise in rapidly recording 3-D information in any scene, independent of illumination."