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The Colored Revolution of Bio-Imaging: An Introduction to Fluorescence Microscopy

M. Unser

Minicourse on Mathematics of Emerging Biomedical Imaging III, Paris, French Republic, February 4-6, 2009.



During the past decade, biological imaging has undergone a revolution thanks to the development of highly specific fluorescent probes (2008 Nobel Prize for Chemistry), in conjunction with new high-resolution microscopes. Fluorescence microscopy is becoming widespread and is having a profound impact on the way research is being conducted in the life sciences. Biologists can now visualize sub-cellular components and processes in vivo, both structurally and functionally. Observations can be made in two or three dimensions, at different wavelengths (spectroscopy), possibly with time-lapse imaging to investigate cellular dynamics. Signal processing is at the heart of these developments and is expected to play an ever-increasing role in the field. The goal of this tutorial is to introduce mathematicians and engineers to modern fluorescence microscopy, while making them aware of corresponding research opportunities. It will cover the principles of fluorescence imaging, and lay out some of the signal processing aspects and challenges.


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