Ptycho-endoscopy on a lensless ultrathin fiber bundle tip


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Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) utilizes an aircraft-carried antenna to emit electromagnetic pulses and detect the returning echoes. As the aircraft travels across a designated area, it synthesizes a large virtual aperture to improve image resolution. Inspired by SAR, we introduce synthetic aperture ptycho-endoscopy (SAPE) for micro-endoscopic imaging beyond the diffraction limit. SAPE operates by hand-holding a lensless fiber bundle tip to record coherent diffraction patterns from specimens. The fiber cores at the distal tip modulate the diffracted wavefield within a confined area, emulating the role of the 'airborne antenna' in SAR. The handheld operation introduces positional shifts to the tip, analogous to the aircraft's movement. These shifts facilitate the acquisition of a ptychogram and synthesize a large virtual aperture extending beyond the bundle's physical limit. We mitigate the influences of hand motion and fiber bending through a low-rank spatiotemporal decomposition of the bundle's modulation profile. Our tests on various samples demonstrate the ability to resolve a 548-nm linewidth and achieve a depth of field exceeding 2 cm. Notably, the aperture synthesizing process surpasses the diffraction limit set by the bundle's maximum collection angle. Requiring no interferometric measurements, SAPE heralds new opportunities for super-resolution endoscopic imaging beyond traditional optical constraints.
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