Miniature injection-molded optics for fiber-optic, in vivo confocal microscopy

Matthew D. Chidley, Chen Liang, Michael R. Descour, Kung Bin Sung, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ann M. Gillenwater

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, a laser scanning fiber confocal reflectance microscope (FCRM) system has been designed and tested for in vivo detection of cervical and oral pre-cancers. This system along with specially developed diagnosis algorithms and techniques can achieve an unprecedented specificity and sensitivity for the diagnosis of pre-cancers in epithelial tissue. The FCRM imaging system consists of an NdYAG laser (1064 nm), scanning mirrors/optics, precision pinhole, detector, and an endoscopic probe (the objective). The objective is connected to the rest of the imaging system via a fiber bundle. The fiber bundle allows the rest of the system to be remotely positioned in a convenient location. Only the objective comes into contact with the patient. It is our intent that inexpensive mass-produced disposable endoscopic probes would be produced for large clinical trails. This paper touches on the general design process of developing a miniature, high numerical aperture, injection-molded (IM) objective. These IM optical designs are evaluated and modified based on manufacturing and application constraints. Based on these driving criteria, one specific optical design was chosen and a detailed tolerance analysis was conducted. The tolerance analysis was custom built to create a realistic statistical analysis for integrated IM lens elements that can be stacked one on top of another using micro-spheres resting in tiny circular grooves. These configurations allow each lens element to be rotated and possibly help compensate for predicted manufacturing errors. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (RO1 CA82880). Special thanks go to Applied Image Group/Optics for the numerous fabrication meetings concerning the miniature IM objective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
EventInternational Optical Design Conference 2002 - Tucson, AZ, United States
Duration: Jun 3 2002Jun 5 2002


  • Biomedical imaging
  • Cervical cancer
  • Confocal microscopy
  • FCRM
  • Miniature injection-molded optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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