• Deconvolution;
  • fluorescent microscopy;
  • image restoration;
  • noise suppression;
  • point spread function


The point spread function (PSF) is of central importance in the image restoration of three-dimensional image sets acquired by an epifluorescent microscope. Even though it is well known that an experimental PSF is typically more accurate than a theoretical one, the noise content of the experimental PSF is often an obstacle to its use in deconvolution algorithms. In this paper we apply a recently introduced noise suppression method to achieve an effective noise reduction in experimental PSFs. We show with both simulated and experimental three-dimensional image sets that a PSF that is smoothed with this method leads to a significant improvement in the performance of deconvolution algorithms, such as the regularized least-squares algorithm and the accelerated Richardson–Lucy algorithm.