In many optical imaging applications, it is necessary to overcome aberrations to obtain high-resolution images. Aberration correction can be performed by either physically modifying the optical wavefront using hardware components, or by modifying the wavefront during image reconstruction using computational imaging. Here we address a longstanding issue in computational imaging: photons that are not collected cannot be corrected. This severely restricts the applications of computational wavefront correction. Additionally, performance limitations of hardware wavefront correction leave many aberrations uncorrected. We combine hardware and computational correction to address the shortcomings of each method. Coherent optical backscattering data is collected using high-speed optical coherence tomography, with aberrations corrected at the time of acquisition using a wavefront sensor and deformable mirror to maximize photon collection. Remaining aberrations are corrected by digitally modifying the coherently-measured wavefront during imaging reconstruction. This strategy obtains high-resolution images with improved signal-to-noise ratio of in vivo human photoreceptor cells with more complete correction of ocular aberrations, and increased flexibility to image at multiple retinal depths, field locations, and time points. While our approach is not restricted to retinal imaging, this application is one of the most challenging for computational imaging due to the large aberrations of the dilated pupil, time-varying aberrations, and unavoidable eye motion. In contrast with previous computational imaging work, we have imaged single photoreceptors and their waveguide modes in fully dilated eyes with a single acquisition. Combined hardware and computational wavefront correction improves the image sharpness of existing adaptive optics systems, and broadens the potential applications of computational imaging methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics