Change in Focal Planes


Number of Focal Planes
  This image dissects an embryo into 9 focal planes (it can be dissected into other numbers of focal planes as well). If we count it from top to down, the first focal plane would be located at the top most and the 9th focal plane would be located at the bottom. (Note: the image showed here is at much later time in the embryo development compared to the movie showed below)


The Change of Focal Planes

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Movie Recorded from Two Focal Planes with Time Series: Movie in the left displays focal plane 2 while the movie in the right is from focal plane 6. As you can see, at a specific time point, you will find each focal plane records a dimension of the embryo’s development. Combining all the focal planes, we are able to observe the whole embryo (3D) developing with time ( 4D).


The Shifting in a Focal Plane

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As you observe a 4D movie, you might encounter a focus shifting like the one you see from time point "00:21:50" to "00:22:05". How could this happen? At this early stage, the microscope operator somtimes wants to get a clearer view of the image. Thus, the focus was adjusted to obtain a better image.