Fast image reconstruction for real-time sup

image: JSFR-SIM enables real-time observation of fine subcellular dynamics.
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Credit: Zhaojun Wang and Ming Lei, Xi’an Jiaotong University

Super-resolution structured illumination microscopy (SR-SIM) is an exceptional method for visualizing subcellular dynamics in living cells. SR-SIM can achieve fast, optical section (OS) and superresolution (SR) observation with hundreds to thousands of time points, which is the number of superresolution frames for continuous imaging.

However, the reconstruction algorithm for OS-SR-SIM imposes a large computational load, due to a complex workflow and a large number of calculations. This effectively negates real-time imaging, as 4–8 seconds are required to reconstruct a single 1024×1024 pixel SR image. Microscope operators should first use wide field mode to navigate the promising field of view for their investigations, then switch to SR-SIM mode to acquire the raw images for SR-SIM, then wait a long time to observe a single SR image, after dedicated post-processing. The disjointed workflow of SIM setup hinders the widespread application of SR-SIM among biologists.

Currently, parallel computing tools such as GPUs can be used to speed up SR reconstruction, but the result is limited to a modest raw image size.

As reported in Advanced Photonics, researchers from Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU, China) recently developed a fast reconstruction algorithm, “Joint Space and Frequency Reconstruction” (JSFR-SIM), to solve both the reconstruction speed and the limitation known as the missing cone problem. They combine spatial domain processing technique with OS-SR-SIM implemented in frequency domain, achieving improved image reconstruction speed as well as background blur removal in thick cell images. .

The reconstruction execution speed is 80 times faster than the widely used Wiener-SIM. Above all, the increase in speed does not come at the expense of image quality. To demonstrate the performance of the method, they performed live-cell observation of COS-7 cells, revealing insights into microtubule dynamics and rapid mitochondrial tubulation.

The JSFR-SIM method makes localizing and imaging a superresolution field of view an easy and routine process, so that complex intracellular dynamics can be visualized in real time and the resulting images quantified. Compatible with various SIM modalities, it shares the same hardware configuration as conventional 2D-SIM, so it can be easily applied in many new SIM modalities, including AO-SIM, pSIM and GI-SIM, to eliminate the computational load, even when imaging thicker samples. This breakthrough promises to improve the work efficiency of biologists and facilitate SR-SIM as a routine tool in biomedical laboratories.

Read the open access article by Z. Wang et al., “High-speed image reconstruction for super-resolution structured illumination microscopy and optical sectioning”, Adv. Photon. 4(2) 026003 (2022) doi 10.1117/1.AP.4.2.026003.

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