A compact Airy beam light sheet microscope with a tilted cylindrical lens

Zhengyi Yang, Martynas Prokopas, Jonathan Nylk, Clara Coll-Lladó, Frank J. Gunn-Moore, David E. K. Ferrier, Tom Vettenburg and Kishan Dholakia

Biomedical Optics Express 10(5), p. 3434-3442 (2014)

doi: 10.1364/BOE.5.003434

Light-sheet imaging is rapidly gaining importance for imaging intact biological specimens. Many of the latest innovations rely on the propagation-invariant Bessel or Airy beams to form an extended light sheet to provide high resolution across a large field of view. Shaping light to realize propagation-invariant beams often relies on complex programming of spatial light modulators or specialized, custom made, optical elements. Here we present a straightforward and low-cost modification to the traditional light-sheet setup, based on the open-access light-sheet microscope OpenSPIM, to achieve Airy light-sheet illumination. This brings wide field single-photon light-sheet imaging to a broader range of endusers. Fluorescent microspheres embedded in agarose and a zebrafish larva were imaged to demonstrate how such a microscope can have a minimal footprint and cost without compromising on imaging quality.