Bilateral prediction and intersection calculation autofocus method for automated microscopy

Authors

  • Z.M. WU,

    1. Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Technology and Systems of the Ministry of Education of China, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China
    2. Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China
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  • D.H. WANG,

    1. Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Technology and Systems of the Ministry of Education of China, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China
    2. Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China
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  • F. ZHOU

    1. Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Technology and Systems of the Ministry of Education of China, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China
    2. Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China
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Dai-Hua Wang, Rm1404, Main Teaching Building, Chongqing University, Shaping ba, Chongqing 400044 China. Tel: +86 23 6511 2105; fax: +86 23 6511 2105; e-mail: dhwang@cqu.edu.cn

Summary

In this paper, a bilateral prediction and intersection calculation autofocus method for automated microscopy, which obtains the in-focus position by calculating the intersection of the predicted left and right focus measure curves located respectively in the left and right sides of the peak position of the focus measure curve, is proposed and performed. According to the autofocus method, the area including the peak position of the focus measure curve and its left and right neighbourhoods should be determined firstly, and the left and right neighbourhoods are considered as the left and right sampling areas. The left and right focus measure curves are predicted by appropriate predicting models according to the two sample sequences, which comprise the focus values by evaluating the sampled images in the left sampling area and right sampling area, respectively and their corresponding sampling positions. The intersection of the predicted left and right focus measure curves is calculated and can be considered as the in-focus position. The autofocus can be realized by moving the focus plane of the microscope to the intersection of the predicted left and right focus measure curves. The proposed bilateral prediction and intersection calculation autofocus method is experimentally verified in an automated light microscopy for implementing microassembly and micromanipulation. The theoretical analyses have shown that the proposed bilateral prediction and intersection calculation autofocus method can not only effectively avoid the principle error caused by assuming the symmetrical focus measure curve in the autofocus methods based on curve fitting, but also eliminate the possible waver search near the peak position in the modified fast climbing servo method. The experimental results have shown that the proposed bilateral prediction and intersection calculation autofocus method possesses the merits as follows: (1) the focusing accuracy is high and slightly affected by the sampling step size and (2) the focusing speed is higher than those of the 7-point hill-climbing search method and the quadratic curve fitting method with a determinate focusing accuracy.

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