A resonant scanner provides the benefits of compact design and fast frame recording. When based on a true confocal concept of point-illumination and point-observation, the resonant scanner allows a speed of 16,000 Hz frequency in bidirectional mode. At a frame size of 512 × 512 pixels, the system acquires 29 images per second. With lower sampling, the speed can be increased up to 290 frames per second at a resolution of 512 × 32 pixels. Dynamic processes with high time resolution can be imaged and measured or a linescan can be taken at full rate.
Applying averaging improves the signal-to-noise ratio, which is especially useful in the case of the resonant scanner. It is possible to find the right compromise between image quality and acquisition speed, depending on the imaging require-ments. In professional designs the amplitude of the confocal resonant scanner is tunable, which allows it to zoom in by applying smaller amplitudes. With this feature it is possible to focus into regions of interest while acquiring images at video-rate. The pan function – another helpful device to quickly move into interesting areas, which are not necessarily in the center of the microscopic field – should also be available with the resonant scanner.
Subsequently CARS microscopy opens new ways to visualize structures based on intrinsic vibrational properties without staining or labeling the specimen. The specimen does not suffer from perturbation by the dye or photo-bleaching. CARS opens new methods of research, especially in cell biology, neurosciences, pharmacology, dermatology, and medical imaging.