Optimal model-based sensorless adaptive optics for epifluorescence microscopy

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We report on a universal sample-independent sensorless adaptive optics method, based on modal optimization of the second moment of the fluorescence emission from a point-like excitation. Our method employs a sample-independent precalibration, performed only once for the particular system, to establish the direct relation between the image quality and the aberration. The method is potentially applicable to any form of microscopy with epifluorescence detection, including the practically important case of incoherent fluorescence emission from a three dimensional object, through minor hardware modifications. We have applied the technique successfully to a widefield epifluorescence microscope and to a multiaperture confocal microscope.