A new 3D imaging method for micropaleontology in ambers and entomology using basic light source: the Optical Coherence Tomography (FF-OCT)

Publication Type:Conference Paper
Year of Publication:2016
Authors:J. - M. Chassot, Garrouste, R. E., Boistel, R., Nel, P., Nel, A., Azar, D.
Conference Name:The 7th International Conference on Fossil Insects, Arthropods and Amber
Date Published:26/04/2016
Publisher:Siri Scientific Press
Conference Location:National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

3D methods are gaining importance in the reconstruction of palaeontological objects for illustration in both scientific and popular realms. The availability of various methods, mainly techniques using X-rays, has enabled a very rapid development of powerful tools in the study of fossils. These include synchrotron facilities and CT scanners of different size and power.However, some tomographic methods using basic light (optical tomographies), developed for biological samples and in vivo studies, may also be used for some paleontological samples, such as inclusions in amber or small arthropod specimens. Here we present several case studies on the use of Full-Field Optical Coherence Tomography (FF-OCT), as applied to fossils preserved in amber. The method is based on low coherence interferometry using basic light. The OCT microscope used was developed in a physics institute specialising in medical imaging, and demonstrates the possibility of using such devices to image certain inclusions in amber, complementary to X-ray tomography methods or as an alternative in some specific cases. This method is also suitable for small biological objects, such as small to very small insects.

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