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Retroreflective imaging system for optical labeling and detection of microorganisms

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Abstract

A retroreflective imaging system for imaging microscopic targets over macroscopic sampling areas is introduced. Detection of microorganism-bound retroreflector (RR) targets across millimeter-scale samples is implemented according to retroreflection directionality, collimation, and contrast design characteristics. Retroreflection directionality is considered for corner-cube (CC) and spherical geometries. Spherical-RRs improve directionality and reliability. Retroreflection collimation is considered for spherical-RRs. Retroreflective images for micro-CC-RRs and micro-spherical-RRs with varying refractive indices show optimal results for high refractive index BaTiO3 micro-spherical-RRs. A differential imaging technique improves retroreflection contrast by 35 dB. High refractive index micro-spherical-RRs and differential imaging, together, can detect microscopic RR targets across macroscopic areas.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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