Investigation of Effects of Digital Image Processing on Improvement of Images Acquired with a Fiber-Optic Plate Microscope System


Hirano, M., Yamashita, Y., & Miyakawa, A. (1993). Investigation of Effects of Digital Image Processing on Improvement of Images Acquired with a Fiber-Optic Plate Microscope System. Analytical Sciences, 9, 493–499.


  • Fiber-optic plate microscope
  • video microscopy
  • digital image processing


Digital image processing techniques, such as integration of consecutive frames, histogram transformations, and spatial filtering, can enhance the quality of fluorescence images obtained with a fiber-optic plate microscope system by reducing noise and improving contrast.


This article, published in the journal ANALYTICAL SCIENCES in 1993, explores how digital image processing can enhance images from a fiber-optic plate microscope system. 

The authors, Masahiko HIRANO, Yutaka YAMASHITA, and Atsuo MIYAKAWA, used a fiber-optic plate microscope system to capture images of cultured cells stained with fluorescent dyes.  While the microscope system could visualize individual cells, the raw images suffered from noise and poor contrast.  To address this, they applied different image processing techniques. 

For static specimens:

  • Integration of consecutive frames effectively minimized random noise by averaging it out over time. 
  • Histogram transformation operations, specifically gamma correction and histogram stretch, improved the image contrast. 
  • Sharpening filters enhanced the specimen edges but also amplified noise and artifacts from the fiber-optic plate. 

For moving specimens:

  • Due to the time required, integration of frames was impractical. 
  • Spatial filtering, particularly the averaging filter, effectively reduced noise but could blur the image. 
  • Histogram transformation and sharpening filters were applicable after noise reduction. 
  • The study also addressed the issue of partition patterns arising from the fiber-optic plate. 
  • Smoothing filters could remove these patterns, particularly at lower magnifications. 
  • Two-dimensional fast Fourier transform (FFT) offered a more effective way to remove these patterns without affecting the specimen's shape or intensity. 

The authors concluded that while the fiber-optic plate microscope offered good sensitivity, digital image processing was crucial for enhancing image quality.  They highlighted the trade-off between noise reduction, temporal resolution, and spatial resolution when applying these techniques.  They also emphasized the importance of faster image processors for real-time analysis of dynamic biological processes.

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