Confocal Light Absorption and Scattering Spectroscopic Microscopy

Authored by: Le Qiu , Lev T. Perelman

Handbook of Photonics for Biomedical Science

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  May  2010

Print ISBN: 9781439806289
eBook ISBN: 9781439806296
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews biomedical applications of confocal light absorption and scattering spectroscopic microscopy, an optical imaging technique that uses light scattering spectra as a source of the highly specific native contrast of internal cell structures. Confocal light absorption and scattering spectroscopic microscopy (CLASS) combine the principles of microscopy with light scattering spectroscopy (LSS), an optical technique that relates the spectroscopic properties of light elastically scattered by small particles to their size, refractive index, and shape. The multispectral nature of LSS enables it to measure internal cell structures much smaller than the diffraction limit without damaging the cell or requiring exogenous markers, which could affect cell function. CLASS microscopy approaches the accuracy of electron microscopy but is nondestructive and does not require the contrast agents common to optical microscopy. In this chapter we discuss basic physical principles of LSS and CLASS microscopy. We also devote a significant amount of space to the discussion of applications of CLASS microscopy in such diverse areas as obstetrics, neuroscience, ophthalmology, cellular and tissue imaging with nanoparticulate markers, and drug discovery.

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