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Comparison of diSPIM With Confocal

The following comparison was written with diSPIM in mind, but the main points apply to all types of SPIM.

Spinning disk confocal (SDCM) is just a massively parallel confocal implementation so it's faster but otherwise has the some characteristics as laser scanning confocal.

  • Light dose: Confocal has much more photobleaching/phototoxicity than SPIM (i.e. SPIM uses the excitation light much more efficiently). Low light dose is the main motivation for most SPIM users.
    • In general for X slices you need X times as much light for confocal as you do for SPIM.
    • Supplementary Video 2 of Wu et al. is a good comparison of imaging with diSPIM and SDCM; note how quickly the SDCM kills the cells being imaged.
  • Z resolution: diSPIM after registration/fusion has best Z-resolution. Next best is confocal, which in turn has better Z resolution than single-view SPIM.
  • XY resolution: comparable between confocal and SPIM.
  • Speed: SPIM (per view) and SDCM have comparable speed (assuming SDCM has higher laser intensity to make up for the ~3% open area of the spinning disks).