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Visual guidance at the cellular level during neurosurgical procedures is essential for complete tumour resection. We present a compact reflectance confocal microscope with a 20 mm working distance that provided <1.2 µm spatial resolution over a 600 µm × 600 µm field of view in the near-infrared region. A physical footprint of 200 mm × 550 mm was achieved using only standard off-the-shelf components. Theoretical performance of the optical design was first evaluated via commercial Zemax software. Then three specimens from rodents: fixed brain, frozen calvaria and live hippocampal slices, were used to experimentally assess system capability and robustness. Results show great potential for the proposed system to be translated into use as a next generation label-free and contactless neurosurgical microscope.

Original publication




Journal article


Biomed Opt Express

Publication Date





4772 - 4785