A coherence-based X-ray near-field speckle detector has been implemented and characterized for its capability of studying static structure and dynamics.
The newly introduced coherence-based technique of X-ray near-field speckle (XNFS) has been implemented at 8-ID-I at the Advanced Photon Source. In the near-field regime of high-brilliance synchrotron X-rays scattered from a sample of interest, it turns out that, when the scattered radiation and the main beam both impinge upon an X-ray area detector, the measured intensity shows low-contrast speckles, resulting from interference between the incident and scattered beams. A micrometer-resolution XNFS detector with a high numerical aperture microscope objective has been built and its capability for studying static structures and dynamics at longer length scales than traditional far-field X-ray scattering techniques is demonstrated. Specifically, the dynamics of dilute silica and polystyrene colloidal samples are characterized. This study reveals certain limitations of the XNFS technique, especially in the characterization of static structures, which is discussed.
X-ray; near field; speckle; spectroscopy; scattering
Coherent X-ray scattering is related to the electron density distribution by a Fourier transform, and therefore a window into the microscopic structures of biological samples. Current techniques of scattering rely on small-angle measurements from highly collimated X-ray beams produced from synchrotron light sources. Imaging of the distribution of scattering provides a new contrast mechanism which is different from absorption radiography, but is a lengthy process of raster or flue scans of the beam over the object. Here, we describe an imaging technique in the spatial frequency domain capable of acquiring both the scattering and absorption distributions in a single exposure. We present first results obtained with conventional X-ray equipment. This method interposes a grid between the X-ray source and the imaged object, so that the grid-modulated image contains a primary image and a grid harmonic image. The ratio between the harmonic and primary images is shown to be a pure scattering image. It is the auto-correlation of the electron density distribution at a specific distance. We tested a number of samples at 60–200 nm autocorrelation distance, and found the scattering images to be distinct from the absorption images and reveal new features. This technique is simple to implement, and should help broaden the imaging applications of X-ray scattering.
Diffraction; imaging; scatter; X-ray
Biological fluids fulfill key functionalities such as hydrating, protecting, and nourishing cells and tissues in various organ systems. They are capable of these versatile tasks owing to their distinct structural and viscoelastic properties. Characterizing the viscoelastic properties of bio-fluids is of pivotal importance for monitoring the development of certain pathologies as well as engineering synthetic replacements. Laser Speckle Rheology (LSR) is a novel optical technology that enables mechanical evaluation of tissue. In LSR, a coherent laser beam illuminates the tissue and temporal speckle intensity fluctuations are analyzed to evaluate mechanical properties. The rate of temporal speckle fluctuations is, however, influenced by both optical and mechanical properties of tissue. Therefore, in this paper, we develop and validate an approach to estimate and compensate for the contributions of light scattering to speckle dynamics and demonstrate the capability of LSR for the accurate extraction of viscoelastic moduli in phantom samples and biological fluids of varying optical and mechanical properties.
Processing of phase-contrast images in laboratory conditions is described.
Free-space-propagation-based imaging belongs to several techniques for achieving phase contrast in the hard X-ray range. The basic precondition is to use an X-ray beam with a high degree of coherence. Although the best sources of coherent X-rays are synchrotrons, spatially coherent X-rays emitted from a sufficiently small spot of laboratory microfocus or sub-microfocus sources allow the transfer of some of the modern imaging techniques from synchrotrons to laboratories. Spatially coherent X-rays traverse a sample leading to a phase shift. Beam deflection induced by the local change of refractive index may be expressed as a dark–bright contrast on the edges of the object in an X-ray projection. This phenomenon of edge enhancement leads to an increase in spatial resolution of X-ray projections but may also lead to unpleasant artefacts in computerized tomography unless phase and absorption contributions are separated. The possibilities of processing X-ray images of lightweight objects containing phase contrast using phase-retrieval methods in laboratory conditions are tested and the results obtained are presented. For this purpose, simulated and recorded X-ray projections taken from a laboratory imaging system with a microfocus X-ray source and a high-resolution CCD camera were processed and a qualitative comparison of results was made.
phase-contrast imaging; X-ray imaging; X-ray radiography; digital radiography; computerized tomography; computed radiography
Coherent X-ray diffraction techniques play an increasingly significant role in imaging nanoscale structures which range from metallic and semiconductor samples to biological objects. The conventional knowledge about radiation damage effects caused by ever higher brilliance X-ray sources has to be critically revised while studying nanostructured materials.
Coherent X-ray diffraction techniques play an increasingly significant role in the imaging of nanoscale structures, ranging from metallic and semiconductor to biological objects. In material science, X-rays are usually considered to be of a low-destructive nature, but under certain conditions they can cause significant radiation damage and heat loading on the samples. The qualitative literature data concerning the tolerance of nanostructured samples to synchrotron radiation in coherent diffraction imaging experiments are scarce. In this work the experimental evidence of a complete destruction of polymer and gold nanosamples by the synchrotron beam is reported in the case of imaging at 1–10 nm spatial resolution. Numerical simulations based on a heat-transfer model demonstrate the high sensitivity of temperature distribution in samples to macroscopic experimental parameters such as the conduction properties of materials, radiation heat transfer and convection. However, for realistic experimental conditions the calculated rates of temperature rise alone cannot explain the melting transitions observed in the nanosamples. Comparison of these results with the literature data allows a specific scenario of the sample destruction in each particular case to be presented, and a strategy for damage reduction to be proposed.
coherent X-ray diffraction imaging; high-resolution synchrotron radiation; heat load; nanosize effects
The emergence of hard X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) enables new insights into many fields of science. These new sources provide short, highly intense, and coherent X-ray pulses. In a variety of scientific applications these pulses need to be strongly focused. In this article, we demonstrate focusing of hard X-ray FEL pulses to 125 nm using refractive x-ray optics. For a quantitative analysis of most experiments, the wave field or at least the intensity distribution illuminating the sample is needed. We report on the full characterization of a nanofocused XFEL beam by ptychographic imaging, giving access to the complex wave field in the nanofocus. From these data, we obtain the full caustic of the beam, identify the aberrations of the optic, and determine the wave field for individual pulses. This information is for example crucial for high-resolution imaging, creating matter in extreme conditions, and nonlinear x-ray optics.
Laser Speckle Imaging (LSI) is fast, noninvasive technique to image particle dynamics in scattering media such as biological tissue. While LSI measurements are independent of the overall intensity of the laser source, we find that spatial variations in the laser source profile can impact measured flow rates. This occurs due to differences in average photon path length across the profile, and is of significant concern because all lasers have some degree of natural Gaussian profile in addition to artifacts potentially caused by projecting optics. Two in vivo measurement are performed to show that flow rates differ based on location with respect to the beam profile. A quantitative analysis is then done through a speckle contrast forward model generated within a coherent Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (cSFDI) formalism. The model predicts remitted speckle contrast as a function of spatial frequency, optical properties, and scattering dynamics. Comparison with experimental speckle contrast images were done using liquid phantoms with known optical properties for three common beam shapes. cSFDI is found to accurately predict speckle contrast for all beam shapes to within 5% root mean square error. Suggestions for improving beam homogeneity are given, including a widening of the natural beam Gaussian, proper diffusing glass spreading, and flat top shaping using microlens arrays.
(110.6150) Speckle imaging; (170.3660) Light propagation in tissues
Dose-compatible measurements of a mammography phantom demonstrate an increase in contrast attainable through differential phase and dark-field imaging over conventional absorption-based projections. All measurements have been performed at 21 keV using a monochromatic laser-driven miniature synchrotron X-ray source (Compact Light Source).
The Compact Light Source is a miniature synchrotron producing X-rays at the interaction point of a counter-propagating laser pulse and electron bunch through the process of inverse Compton scattering. The small transverse size of the luminous region yields a highly coherent beam with an angular divergence of a few milliradians. The intrinsic monochromaticity and coherence of the produced X-rays can be exploited in high-sensitivity differential phase-contrast imaging with a grating-based interferometer. Here, the first multimodal X-ray imaging experiments at the Compact Light Source at a clinically compatible X-ray energy of 21 keV are reported. Dose-compatible measurements of a mammography phantom clearly demonstrate an increase in contrast attainable through differential phase and dark-field imaging over conventional attenuation-based projections.
medical X-ray imaging; phase contrast; inverse Compton X-rays
X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) are potentially revolutionary X-ray sources because of their very short pulse duration, extreme peak brilliance and high spatial coherence, features that distinguish them from today’s synchrotron sources. We review recent time-resolved Laue diffraction and time-resolved wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) studies at synchrotron sources, and initial static studies at XFELs. XFELs have the potential to transform the field of time-resolved structural biology, yet many challenges arise in devising and adapting hardware, experimental design and data analysis strategies to exploit their unusual properties. Despite these challenges, we are confident that XFEL sources are poised to shed new light on ultrafast protein reaction dynamics.
X-ray differential phase contrast imaging methods, including projection imaging and the corresponding computed tomography (CT), have been implemented using a Talbot interferometer and either a synchrotron beam line or a low brilliance x-ray source generated by a stationary-anode x-ray tube. From small-angle scattering events which occur as an x-ray propagates through a medium, a signal intensity loss can be recorded and analyzed for an understanding of the micro-structures in an image object. This has been demonstrated using a Talbot-Lau interferometer and a stationary-anode x-ray tube. In this paper, theoretical principles and an experimental implementation of the corresponding CT imaging method are presented. First, a line integral is derived from analyzing the cross section of the small-angle scattering events. This method is referred to as small-angle scattering computed tomography (SAS-CT). Next, a Talbot-Lau interferometer and a rotating-anode x-ray tube were used to implement SAS-CT. A physical phantom and human breast tissue sample were used to demonstrate the reconstructed SAS-CT image volumes.
X-ray computed tomography (XCT) has become a very important method for non-destructive 3D-characterization and evaluation of materials. Due to measurement speed and quality, XCT systems with cone beam geometry and matrix detectors have gained general acceptance. Continuous improvements in the quality and performance of X-ray tubes and XCT devices have led to cone beam CT systems that can now achieve spatial resolutions down to 1 μm and even below. However, the polychromatic nature of the source, limited photon flux and cone beam artefacts mean that there are limits to the quality of the CT-data achievable; these limits are particularly pronounced with materials of higher density like metals. Synchrotron radiation offers significant advantages by its monochromatic and parallel beam of high brilliance. These advantages usually cause fewer artefacts, improved contrast and resolution.
Tomography data of a steel sample and of two multi-phase Al-samples (AlSi12Ni1, AlMg5Si7) are recorded by advanced cone beam XCT-systems with a μ-focus (μXCT) and a sub-μm (nano-focus, sub-μXCT) X-ray source with voxel dimensions between 0.4 and 3.5 μm and are compared with synchrotron computed tomography (sXCT) with 0.3 μm/voxel. CT data features like beam hardening and ring artefacts, detection of details, sharpness, contrast, signal-to-noise ratio and the grey value histogram are systematically compared. In all cases μXCT displayed the lowest performance. Sub-μXCT gives excellent results in the detection of details, spatial and contrast resolution, which are comparable to synchrotron-XCT recordings. The signal-to-noise ratio is usually significantly lower for sub-μXCT compared with the two other methods. With regard to measurement costs “for industrial users”, scanning volume, accessibility and user-friendliness sub-μXCT has significant advantages in comparison to synchrotron-XCT.
X-ray computed tomography; Synchrotron tomography; High resolution tomography; 3D-characterization
We review recent structural investigations done by anomalous small-angle X-ray scattering (ASAXS). ASAXS uses the dependence of the scattering length of a given element if the energy of the incident X-ray beam is near the absorption edge of this element. The analysis of the ASAXS data leads to three partial intensities. We show that the comparison of these three partial intensities leads to valuable information in fluctuating systems. This has been demonstrated from data derived from recent molecular dynamics simulations of charged colloidal spheres. Moreover, it is shown that the three partial intensities can be obtained from experimental ASAXS data indeed. As an example for this analysis, we discuss recent ASAXS data referring to rod-like polyelectrolytes. These polyelectrolytes consist of a stiff poly(p-phenylene) backbone with attached charged groups that are balanced by bromine counterions. The three partial intensities can be determined experimentally and compared to the prediction of the Poisson–Boltzmann cell model. Quantitative agreement is found demonstrating the strong correlation of the counterions to the rod-like macroion. ASAXS is thus shown to furnish information not available by the conventional small-angle scattering experiment.
Polyelectrolyte; ASAXS; SAXS; Counterion condensation
Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is an X-ray diffraction-based technique where a narrow collimated beam of X-rays is focused onto a sample and the scattered X-rays recorded by a detector. The pattern of the scattered X-rays carries information on the molecular structure of the material. As breast cancer is the most widespread cancer in women and differentiation among its tumors is important, this project compared the results of coherent X-ray scattering measurements obtained from benign and malignant breast tissues. The energy-dispersive method with a setup including X-ray tube, primary collimator, sample holder, secondary collimator and high-purity germanium (HpGe) detector was used. One hundred thirty-one breast-tissue samples, including normal, fibrocystic changes and carcinoma, were studied at the 6° scattering angle. Diffraction profiles (corrected scattered intensity versus momentum transfer) of normal, fibrocystic changes and carcinoma were obtained. These profiles showed a few peak positions for adipose (1.15 ± 0.06 nm−1), mixed normal (1.15 ± 0.06 nm−1 and 1.4 ± 0.04 nm−1), fibrocystic changes (1.46 ± 0.05 nm−1 and 1.74 ± 0.04 nm−1) and carcinoma (1.55 ± 0.04 nm−1, 1.73 ± 0.06 nm−1, 1.85 ± 0.05 nm−1). We were able to differentiate between normal, fibrocystic changes (benign) and carcinoma (malignant) breast tissues by SAXS. However, we were unable to differentiate between different types of carcinoma.
Breast tumor; coherent scattering; small-angle X-ray scattering
The results of a real-time X-ray crystallographic study of the melting transition of polystyrene colloidal crystals during heating are presented.
The structural evolution of colloidal crystals made of polystyrene hard spheres has been studied in situ upon incremental heating of a crystal in a temperature range below and above the glass transition temperature of polystyrene. Thin films of colloidal crystals having different particle sizes were studied in transmission geometry using a high-resolution small-angle X-ray scattering setup at the P10 Coherence Beamline of the PETRA III synchrotron facility. The transformation of colloidal crystals to a melted state has been observed in a narrow temperature interval of less than 10 K.
colloidal crystals; small-angle X-ray scattering; thermal treatment
An instrumentation and data analysis review of coherent diffraction microscopy at SPring-8 is given. This work will be of interest to those who want to apply coherent diffraction imaging to studies of materials science and biological samples.
Since the first demonstration of coherent diffraction microscopy in 1999, this lensless imaging technique has been experimentally refined by continued developments. Here, instrumentation and experimental procedures for measuring oversampled diffraction patterns from non-crystalline specimens using an undulator beamline (BL29XUL) at SPring-8 are presented. In addition, detailed post-experimental data analysis is provided that yields high-quality image reconstructions. As the acquisition of high-quality diffraction patterns is at least as important as the phase-retrieval procedure to guarantee successful image reconstructions, this work will be of interest for those who want to apply this imaging technique to materials science and biological samples.
coherent diffraction microscopy; coherent diffraction imaging; lensless imaging; oversampling; phase retrieval
A ‘mini-beam’ apparatus has been developed that conditions the size of an X-ray beam to 5 µm. The design of the apparatus and the characterization of the focal size and flux are presented.
The high-brilliance X-ray beams from undulator sources at third-generation synchrotron facilities are excellent tools for solving crystal structures of important and challenging biological macromolecules and complexes. However, many of the most important structural targets yield crystals that are too small or too inhomogeneous for a ‘standard’ beam from an undulator source, ∼25–50 µm (FWHM) in the vertical and 50–100 µm in the horizontal direction. Although many synchrotron facilities have microfocus beamlines for other applications, this capability for macromolecular crystallography was pioneered at ID-13 of the ESRF. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Cancer Institute Collaborative Access Team (GM/CA-CAT) dual canted undulator beamlines at the APS deliver high-intensity focused beams with a minimum focal size of 20 µm × 65 µm at the sample position. To meet growing user demand for beams to study samples of 10 µm or less, a ‘mini-beam’ apparatus was developed that conditions the focused beam to either 5 µm or 10 µm (FWHM) diameter with high intensity. The mini-beam has a symmetric Gaussian shape in both the horizontal and vertical directions, and reduces the vertical divergence of the focused beam by 25%. Significant reduction in background was achieved by implementation of both forward- and back-scatter guards. A unique triple-collimator apparatus, which has been in routine use on both undulator beamlines since February 2008, allows users to rapidly interchange the focused beam and conditioned mini-beams of two sizes with a single mouse click. The device and the beam are stable over many hours of routine operation. The rapid-exchange capability has greatly facilitated sample screening and resulted in several structures that could not have been obtained with the larger focused beam.
mini-beam; microbeam; microdiffraction; macromolecular crystallography
Ultrafast dynamics in atomic, molecular and condensed-matter systems are increasingly being studied using optical-pump, X-ray probe techniques where subpicosecond laser pulses excite the system and X-rays detect changes in absorption spectra and local atomic structure1–3. New opportunities are appearing as a result of improved synchrotron capabilities and the advent of X-ray free-electron lasers4,5. These source improvements also allow for the reverse measurement: X-ray pump followed by optical probe. We describe here how an X-ray pump beam transforms a thin GaAs specimen from a strong absorber into a nearly transparent window in less than 100 ps, for laser photon energies just above the bandgap. We find the opposite effect—X-ray induced optical opacity—for photon energies just below the bandgap. This raises interesting questions about the ultrafast many-body response of semiconductors to X-ray absorption, and provides a new approach for an X-ray/optical cross-correlator for synchrotron and X-ray free-electron laser applications.
Coherence-gated dynamic light scattering captures cellular dynamics through ultra-low-frequency (0.005–5 Hz) speckle fluctuations and Doppler shifts that encode a broad range of cellular and subcellular motions. The dynamic physiological response of tissues to applied drugs is the basis for a new type of phenotypic profiling for drug screening on multicellular tumor spheroids. Volumetrically resolved tissue-response fluctuation spectrograms act as fingerprints that are segmented through feature masks into high-dimensional feature vectors. Drug-response clustering is achieved through multidimensional scaling with simulated annealing to construct phenotypic drug profiles that cluster drugs with similar responses. Hypoxic vs. normoxic tissue responses present two distinct phenotypes with differentiated responses to environmental perturbations and to pharmacological doses.
(090.1995) Digital holography; (170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (110.1650) Coherence imaging
A semi-transparent central stop has been used for ptychographic coherent diffractive imaging to increase the effective dynamic range in the recording of the far-field diffraction patterns. In this way, the high flux density provided by nano-focusing Kirkpatrick–Baez mirrors can be fully exploited for high resolution and quantitative phase reconstructions.
A ptychographic coherent X-ray diffractive imaging (PCDI) experiment has been carried out using 7.9 keV X-rays and Kirkpatrick–Baez focusing mirrors. By introducing a semi-transparent central stop in front of the detector the dynamic range on the detector is increased by about four orders of magnitude. The feasibility of this experimental scheme is demonstrated for PCDI applications with a resolution below 10 nm. The results are compared with reference data and an increase of resolution by a factor of two is obtained, while the deviation of the reconstructed phase map from the reference is below 1%.
ptychography; Kirkpatrick–Baez mirrors; semi-transparent central stop; semi-transparent beam stop; coherent diffractive imaging; phase reconstruction
This paper presents an imaging model and a reconstruction algorithm for obtaining X-ray beam cross-sectional images from the data recorded by an X-ray beam monitor based on a coded aperture camera that collects radiation scattered from a thin foil placed in the X-ray beam at an oblique angle.
An imaging model and an image reconstruction algorithm for a transparent X-ray beam imaging and position measuring instrument are presented. The instrument relies on a coded aperture camera to record magnified images of the footprint of the incident beam on a thin foil placed in the beam at an oblique angle. The imaging model represents the instrument as a linear system whose impulse response takes into account the image blur owing to the finite thickness of the foil, the shape and size of camera’s aperture and detector’s point-spread function. The image reconstruction algorithm first removes the image blur using the modelled impulse response function and then corrects for geometrical distortions caused by the foil tilt. The performance of the image reconstruction algorithm was tested in experiments at synchrotron radiation beamlines. The results show that the proposed imaging system produces images of the X-ray beam cross section with a quality comparable with images obtained using X-ray cameras that are exposed to the direct beam.
X-ray imaging; pinhole camera; scattering measurements; deconvolution; beam diagnostics
An X-ray stereo imaging system with synchrotron radiation was developed to perform real-time stereo imaging and stereo angiography.
An X-ray stereo imaging system with synchrotron radiation was developed at BL20B2, SPring-8. A portion of a wide X-ray beam was Bragg-reflected by a silicon crystal to produce an X-ray beam which intersects with the direct X-ray beam. Samples were placed at the intersection point of the two beam paths. X-ray stereo images were recorded simultaneously by a detector with a large field of view placed close to the sample. A three-dimensional wire-frame model of a sample was created from the depth information that was obtained from the lateral positions in the stereo image. X-ray stereo angiography of a mouse femoral region was performed as a demonstration of real-time stereo imaging. Three-dimensional arrangements of the femur and blood vessels were obtained.
X-ray stereo imaging; real-time imaging; angiography
Although x-ray imaging is widely used in biomedical applications, biological soft tissues have small density changes, leading to low contrast resolution for attenuation-based x-ray imaging. Over the past years, x-ray small-angle scattering was studied as a new contrast mechanism to enhance subtle structural variation within the soft tissue. In this paper, we present a detection method to extract this type of x-ray scattering data, which are also referred to as dark-field signals. The key idea is to acquire an x-ray projection multiple times with varying collimation before an x-ray detector array. The projection data acquired with a collimator of a sufficiently high collimation aspect ratio contain mainly the primary beam with little scattering, while the data acquired with an appropriately reduced collimation aspect ratio include both the primary beam and small-angle scattering signals. Then, analysis of these corresponding datasets will produce desirable dark-field signals; for example, via digitally subtraction. In the numerical experiments, the feasibility of our dark-field detection technology is demonstrated in Monte Carlo simulation. The results show that the acquired dark field signals can clearly reveal the structural information of tissues in terms of Rayleigh scattering characteristics.
BL-17A is a new structural biology beamline at the Photon Factory, dedicated to protein crystallography of microcrystals. Here the X-ray beam stabilization techniques used at BL-17A are described.
BL-17A is a new structural biology beamline at the Photon Factory, Japan. The high-brilliance beam, derived from the new short-gap undulator (SGU#17), allows for unique protein crystallographic experiments such as data collection from microcrystals and structural determination using softer X-rays. However, microcrystal experiments require robust beam stability during data collection and minor fluctuations could not be ignored. Initially, significant beam instability was observed at BL-17A. The causes of the beam instability were investigated and its various sources identified. Subsequently, several effective countermeasures have been implemented, and the fluctuation of the beam intensity successfully suppressed to within 1%. Here the instability reduction techniques used at BL-17A are presented.
protein microcrystallography; Photon Factory; beamline development; X-ray beam stabilization
Instabilities caused during the erosion of a surface by an ion beam can lead to the formation of self-organized patterns of nanostructures. Understanding the self-organization process requires not only the in-situ characterization of ensemble averaged properties but also probing the dynamics. This can be done with the use of coherent X-rays and analyzing the temporal correlations of the scattered intensity. Here, we show that the dynamics of a semiconductor surface nanopatterned by normal incidence ion beam sputtering are age-dependent and slow down with sputtering time. This work provides a novel insight into the erosion dynamics and opens new perspectives for the understanding of self-organization mechanisms.
We introduce an integration of dynamic light scattering (DLS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) for high-resolution 3D imaging of heterogeneous diffusion and flow. DLS analyzes fluctuations in light scattered by particles to measure diffusion or flow of the particles, and OCT uses coherence gating to collect light only scattered from a small volume for high-resolution structural imaging. Therefore, the integration of DLS and OCT enables high-resolution 3D imaging of diffusion and flow. We derived a theory under the assumption that static and moving particles are mixed within the OCT resolution volume and the moving particles can exhibit either diffusive or translational motion. Based on this theory, we developed a fitting algorithm to estimate dynamic parameters including the axial and transverse velocities and the diffusion coefficient. We validated DLS-OCT measurements of diffusion and flow through numerical simulations and phantom experiments. As an example application, we performed DLS-OCT imaging of the living animal brain, resulting in 3D maps of the absolute and axial velocities, the diffusion coefficient, and the coefficient of determination.
(110.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (110.4153) Motion estimation and optical flow; (180.6900) Three-dimensional microscopy; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging